The Los Angeles Chapter mourns Catherine Gotthoffer, one of the founders of the Chapter.Gotthoffer2

Catherine Gotthoffer


January 8, 2012 AHS-LA event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1962 founding of the Los Angeles Chapter, of which Ms. Gotthoffer was one of the founders.
L to R: Catherine Gotthoffer, Dorothy Victor and then-chapter-president Stephanie Bennett hold Ms. Gotthoffer's autograhed picture of her teacher, Marcel Grandjany.


Catherine Gotthoffer passed away peacefully at her home in Hermosa Beach on Dec. 29, 2014. She was 91.

Catherine began her musical studies at a young age on the violin and started harp at a later age.  After high school, she continued her studies on harp at Julliard with Marcel Grandjany.   While at school, she met her husband, a student of trumpet, Robert Gotthoffer, and they wed in 1944.  After graduation from Julliard, she maintained a busy schedule by freelancing in New York City, performing regularly in New York City's Latin Quarter and Biltmore Hotel while her husband was in the Navy.  

After the war ended and Mr. Gotthoffer was discharged from the Navy, he learned that Antal Dorati was organizing a symphony in Dallas.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Gotthoffer auditioned, were accepted, and relocated to Dallas, where they lived for seven years, with their summers spent in New York City.  

In 1951, Ms. Gotthoffer auditioned for the MGM studios in Hollywood and received a contract with MGM starting in January of 1952 and continuing through 1957.   During this time, her two children, Ann and Richard, were born.  Ms. Gotthoffer continued playing and recording with many symphony orchestras after her contract with MGM.  In 1970 she joined the faculty at the California Institute of the Arts.  Her last “gig” was in 1988 at a Tony Bennett concert.  Films credits include:  Singing the Rain; An American in Paris; West Side Story; Gigi; Kiss Me Kate; High Society; Dr. Zhivago; The Godfather and Godfather II; Bad Day at Blackrock; My Fair Lady; Barefoot in the Park; and Beetlejuice.  

Ms. Gotthoffer’s involvement in the American Society started after the first Israel Competition in 1959.  She helped found the local chapter in Los Angeles, which was the second local chapter to seek a charter from the AHS.  From 1968-1970, and again from 1972-1976, Ms. Gotthoffer was President of the (national) AHS.  

She is survived by her beloved husband of 70 years, Robert; children Ann and Richard, grandchildren Russell, Samuel, Jason and Rachel.