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Funeral in Beverly Hills for Conductor Bruno Walter

Feb. 20, 1962 - A funeral service was held in Beverly Hills, Calif., today for Bruno Walter (pictured in 1935), the noted conductor who died Saturday at the age of 85. Among the two dozen wreaths that flanked the rose-covered coffin were floral tributes from Chancellor Adenauer of West Germany and Willy Brandt, Mayor of West Berlin. Mr. Walter, a native of Berlin who was born Jewish but later converted to Christianity, went into exile after Hitler’s rise to power. The service, at the Pierce Brothers Funeral Chapel, began with the playing of the Adagio from Beethoven’s String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 1. The musicians were from the Columbia Symphony, which Mr. Walter had conducted in recent months in recordings of Mahler symphonies. The musicians said the conductor had been particularly fond of this Beethoven Quartet. “The basic quality of his spirit,” said Rev. Verner N. Hegg in his eulogy, “was his devotion to the spirit of mankind. He was passionate in his search for truth. He was humble, but he was not a sentimentalist. He could see through the prejudices of race, nationality, littleness and selfishness. He could feel the sorrows of others. And through his music, he brought the power of healing.” Although the chapel is in the heart of the movie colony, the service was virtually ignored by the film and television world. The only well-known actor at the funeral was Werner Klemperer, seen most recently in the film “Judgment at Nuremberg.” He is the son of Otto Klemperer, the conductor. Mr. Walter will be buried in Switzerland.


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