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Ursula Mamlok

American composer and teacher Ursula Mamlok was born Ursula Meyer in Berlin on 1 February 1923. Her Jewish family fled Nazi Germany in 1938 to Ecuador. Ursula moved to New York City in 1940 to study composition with George Szell at the Mannes School of Music on a full scholarship, offered on the basis of one of her compositions. She later studied with Vittorio Giannini at the Manhattan School of Music. She also studied composition with Roger Sessions and Ralph Shapey, and piano performance with Eduard Steuermann.

Her output, influenced by Hindemith and the serial composers Berg, Schoenberg and Webern, consisted mostly of pieces for small chamber ensembles, works for piano, several songs and a few orchestral pieces, including an oboe concerto.

She received many awards, grants and commissions, and was also an influential teacher, holding many university positions. Her students included Paul Brust, Alba Lucía Potes Cortés and Alex Shapiro.

Ursula Mamlok returned to Berlin in 2006, and died there on 4 May 2016, aged ninety-three.


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