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Doppelwangers

July 05, 1987

In "Up-to-Date Berlin Art: Link to L.A." (June 28), William Wilson laments that "the average Angel City native is barely aware that Bertolt Brecht lived in this town, as did Thomas Mann and Wilhelm Furtwaengler." But Furtwaengler never lived here.

Unlike many artists from Central Europe who settled in Los Angeles temporarily or permanently, Wilhelm Furtwaengler remained conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic through the war years. He stayed in Germany and Austria (evidently under great pressure from the Nazis) until near the end of the war, when he found refuge in Switzerland.

Indeed, there is no record of Furtwaengler's appearing at all in Los Angeles. His last American appearance, on Feb. 10, 1927, was with the New York Philharmonic, and he never ventured to the West Coast before or after that date.

Perhaps Wilson meant the novelist Lion Feuchtwanger? But that's another story. . . .

ROBERT S. GOLDFARB

Los Angeles

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