Former director of the Washington Opera

Martin Feinstein, an assistant to impresario Sol Hurok who became the first exec director of the John F. Kennedy Center before taking over the Washington Opera, died Feb. 5 of cancer at his home in Potomac, Md. He was 84.

Brooklyn-born Feinstein majored in music at the City College of New York, returning after Army service to learn about showbiz as a junior press agent for Hurok. After 25 years at the firm, he was lured away in 1971 by Roger L. Stevens, chairman of the new Kennedy Center, to become Stevens’ chief deputy. He helped guide programming and other efforts for the fledgling institution including the construction of its Terrace Theater.

In 1980, he became director of the Washington Opera, elevating that organization both artistically and financially before retiring more than a decade later.

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