A cinematic portrait of the composer Ursula Mamlok, by Anne Berrini
In her documentary Ursula Mamlok - Movements
, filmmaker Anne Berrini offers a sensitive examination of Mamlok's life and of the music that played such a central part in it. Berrini observes the composer at work in Germany and accompanies her on a trip to New York City, where Mamlok prepares for a League of Composers concert, meets old friends, and revisits a critically important period of her life.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Miro Magloire, composer, choreographer, and artistic director of New Chamber Ballet
Born to a Jewish family in Berlin in 1923, Mamlok was a precocious, talented teenager with a single dream: becoming a composer. Then Germany descended into Nazi oppression, and by the time Mamlok was sixteen, she and her parents made a last-minute escape to Ecuador. Dissatisfied with her new home's lack of musical perspective, the teenager wrote letters to musicians abroad, one of which gained her a scholarship to the Mannes School of Music in New York City. Thus, as a 17-year-old she came to New York, alone, with no money, unable to speak English, and ready to embark on a career that was both trailblazing and successful.
Mamlok would remain in New York City for the next sixty-six years, soaking up inspiration from some of the most important European musicians who were living in exile, as well as from composers from the American avant-garde. She taught composition at the Manhattan School of Music for almost forty years, and her award-winning works became part of the city’s concert life.
In 2006, at age 83, Ursula Mamlok returned to Berlin, the city of her birth: a decision that presented her with new challenges, both musical and emotional.
February 16 / 1pm & 4pm / The Phillips Collection
Stray Bird – A Danced Tribute to Ursula Mamlok
A full-length ballet directed by Miro Magloire – artistic director of the New Chamber Ballet