Surrounded by hundreds of fan letters which paid tribute to her current radio programs, the vivacious and energetic Mana-Zucca told of her newest composition, “Thou Hast Forsaken Me”, a song of lamentation which pleads for a universal brotherhood. In another room her eight-year old son was practicing his music lesson and as his notes came to us she would interrupt her story about herself and tell him that he was playing either too slowly or too quickly. She smiled as she related her difficulties in making her son practice the piano.
When she was eight years old, she said, she was already a finished performer and created a sensation by playing a Beethoven Concerto with the New York Symphony Orchestra under Walter Damrosch. She studied under Godowsky and Busoni and gave concerts throughout Europe when still a young girl.
Mana-Zucca has had a varicolored career which has included not only the concert stage as a pianist, but also the musical comedy and legitimate theatre. However, it is as a composer, solely, that she wishes to become known. And no one has a better right than she. Mana-Zucca has to her credit almost five hundred published compositions which comprise works for the voice, piano, violin, cello, chorus and symphony orchestra. Her songs for children are famous for their humor and fantasy. Some of her best and well-known compositions are “Rachem”, “I Love Life”, “Nichavo” and numerous others.
Mana-Zucca was reluctant to tell of her experiences as a singer. “You know”, she said, “I really want to be known as a composer. But, if you insist, I shall tell you. Although I found it lots of fun, I gave it up because it was not really serious. I did a great many things for the sake of the experience and the knowledge which I would acquire to aid me in my work as a composer”.
She made her debut as a singer in London in the “Count of Luxemburg” and following her success there she came back to the United States and was engaged as the leading lady for “The Rose Maid”. Later on she sang in “The Geisha” and “The Mikado”.
A native New Yorker, Mana-Zucca has lived for the past years in Miami where she has endeared herself to the community by the organization of the Mana-Zucca Music Club which has been instrumental in encouraging good music and bringing and presenting some of the world’s outstanding musicians.