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KENNEDY CENTER CHAIRMAN NAMED

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Investment banker James Wolfensohn, chairman of New York's Carnegie Hall, has been named the new chairman of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He succeeds Ralph Davidson, who served simultaneously as chairman and president of the center. A president or artistic director may be named later.

The Australian-born Wolfensohn charactered the Kennedy Center as the "cultural heartbeat of this country . . . whose future (is) based in excellence at the highest level."The search to replace founder Roger Stevens, who retired in 1988, was long and hard, and many expressed skepticism about Davidson, a former Time Inc. executive with no performing arts experience, who was characterized as "difficult" and not an effective fundraiser. Wolfensohn will continue as head of Carnegie Hall through its 1990-91 centennial season.