Obituary: Leonard L. Silverstein, arts patron and NSO board president, 96

Posted on: February 20, 2018

“Leonard L. Silverstein, a Washington lawyer and arts patron who started a series of prominent tax-law guidebooks and became a member of the city’s cultural and fundraising firmament, died Feb. 14,” writes Adam Bernstein in Thursday’s (2/15) Washington Post. “Along with Frank Sinatra and Kennedy Center Chairman Roger L. Stevens, Mr. Silverstein sat in the 1980s on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, where he promoted corporate philanthropy. He was board president of the National Symphony Orchestra Association at a time when the NSO was beset by multimillion-dollar shortfalls. He … secured a line of credit for the orchestra from American Security Bank, where he was a director…. Mr. Silverstein … lamented … the lukewarm support [the NSO] received from city government and businesses. But the orchestra, he noted, had a formidable asset in [music director] Mstislav Rostropovich…. The Kennedy Center took the NSO under its auspices in 1986, helping rescue the orchestra from continued fiscal woes…. Mr. Silverstein served at points as board vice chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts [and] also chaired the Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation, [founded to raise] money for medicine, food and equipment for children’s hospitals and clinics.”

Posted February 20, 2018