The Music Guild started as an idea to provide familiar, comforting entertainment to the flood of refugees coming to Los Angeles after WWI. Now it presents more chamber music concerts in Southern California than anyone West of the Mississippi!
The end of World War II found Los Angeles on the cusp of an explosive expansion. The war had seen a boom in production of military support with major construction of airplanes and ships. The City had remained home to much of the commercial film production in the United States, although many studios had contributed tom the propaganda production of the United States government, using many established stars who had been exempt from overseas military serviced. True, there were a lot of famous names serving in Europe and the Pacific, but there were still recognizable faces at work in Hollywood. The City boundaries were smaller, leaving large parcels of land for experimentation on newer jet engines and construction of housing subdivisions. The Arts in California were centered in San Francisco, represented by their world famous Opera House. The city was a magnet for European refugees, especially the creative Jewish community who fled ahead of the German Nazis. A Jewish community expanded on L.A’s near east side. Refugee Alfred Leonard, an owner of a small record shop in Los Angeles looked around and saw an opportunity. His radio show “Gateway to Music” on KFAC catered to this community with classical music and was growing. So in conjunction with the Junior Chamber of Commerce held a series of sold out concerts by Artur Schnable at Philharmonic Hall.
Some of the Biggest names in Chamber Music Quartets in the world played at the Music Guild,many made their Los Angeles Debuts.
The Music Guild named a new Executive Director in 1950. Under the direction of Dorothy Huttenback,The Music Guild was able to expand it's world wide reach, using her background as a talent agent. In London in 1933, She joined the Wilfrid Van Wyck Ltd Artist Agency. Relocating to Lso Angeles at the start World War II in 1939, Mrs. Huttenback gained fame during her long career representing artists such as Rubenstein, Horowitz, Tamanova, and discovering and developing the careers of Marilyn Horne and Mary Costa. .
Los Angeles attorney, Eugene Golden, took over the reigns of The Music Guild in 1985 when Dorothy Huttenback fell ill. During his tenure, he expanded the number of annual concerts from five in one venue to 22 in four venues added 32 children’s concerts, programs in Senior residences, Alzheimer facilities and Veterans Homes. He established a fund-raising program to acquire instruments for children.
Mr. Golden arranged for national broadcasts of The Music Guild concerts on NPR and joined with actor Philip Sterling to present classical music and commentary on KCSN.
The Music Guild invaded the San Fernando Valley with concerts at Pierce College in Woodland Hills. This was followed with concerts at Valley Beth Shaloam in Encino, CSUN in Northeidge nd its currenthome in Valley Village at Adat Ari El Temple.
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The LA Phil in conjunction with Mr. Golden began a Sunday Morning series of Chamber Music concerts.
Sunday mornings, the Music CentePlaza was filled with the aroma of fresh baked pastries and coffee.
The Music Guild begis concerts in Long Beach at CSULB's Daniel Recital Hall. The concerts are presented through the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music.
The Music Guild started it's popular Sunday series called SummerFest. The late afternoon concerts are designed for families whee younger children can't stay out late on school nights during the regular season. The conrts ae presented at the Univesity Synagogue near the 40f in Brentwood.
The Music Guild, incooperation with Yamaha Entertainment Group and LA Philanthropic presented electronic pianos to the Watts Tower Education Program
In 2012, The Music Guild commenced a “Piano and Instrument Adoption Program” to find homes for orphaned pianos in schools and with the Veterans Administration.