Dorothy Huttenback, Force Behind Music Guild, Dies

Dorothy Huttenback, a one-time musical prodigy who became in the last three decades of her life the manager and chief driving force of the Los Angeles Music Guild, died Friday at a Santa Monica nursing home.

She was 90 and had been in ill health since suffering a stroke more than a year ago.

During the 33 years of her presidency, the Music Guild became and remained the city’s chief purveyor of first-rank chamber music ensembles at the Wilshire Ebell Theater, offering a platform for internationally recognized artists.

Mrs. Huttenback is survived by a son, Robert Huttenback; daughter, Peggy Kaus, and three grandchildren. Memorial rites are scheduled for 2 p.m. April 22 at Malinow and Silverman Mortuary in Westwood.


Born Oct. 30, 1896 in San Francisco, Dorothy Alice Marcuse was a pianist at 5 and played her first public recital at 8, followed by study in Berlin.

Rejected as a student by the Berlin Conservatory because she was only 12, her audition attracted the attention of Heinrich Barth and German composer Engelbert Humperdinck, who took responsibility for her continued musical education.

In 1922, however, she retired from the concert stage after her marriage to Dr. Otto Huttenback of Frankfurt. The rise of the Nazis caused the family to emigrate, first to England and then to Los Angeles, where she assisted in management of the Behymer Artist Bureau, taking over the Music Guild when founder Alfred Leonard moved to New York.