Ecuador discovers a Holocaust composer

Ecuador discovers a Holocaust composer


norman lebrecht

April 29, 2021

Dante Santiago Anzolini, conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Guayaquil, was planning a South American premiere of a Hitler-exiled composer when the latest lockdown has forced a change in plans.

Dante is immensely enthusiastic about Ursula Mamlok’s Concerto for Strings. Mamlok landed in Ecuador with her parents in 1938 at the age of 15. Two years later she won a scholarship to Mannes in New York. Published by Peters, in 2006 she moved to Berlin, dying there in 2016.

Sadly, Eciador won’t get to hear Urusla just yet. But its chamber concert of Nazi victim composers, including the Dutchman Leo Smit, can be heard live tomorrow on the orchestra’s Facebook page.


  • John Borstlap says:

    Some works by Mamlok:

    Alhough she was from Berlin, it is early Viennese modernism, but sometimes, still with hints of tonality. As she said:

    “My music is colorful, with the background of tonality – tonal centers … I can’t shake it completely.”

    She wanted to keep the child separated from the bath water, but while still keeping the child at a safe distance.

    Interesting article by ‘Forbidden music’ author Michael Haas: