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Mana-Zucca (25 December 1887 – 8 March 1981) was an American actress, singer, pianist and composer.


Mana-Zucca was born Augusta (Gussie) Zuckermann in New York City on December 25, 1887. She was a child prodigy who began composing at an early age. At the age of eight, she performed as piano soloist in the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 with the New York Symphony Orchestra. In 1914 she made her stage debut with a soprano role in Franz Lehár's The Count of Luxembourg. She studied piano under Ferruccio Busoni, Leopold Godowsky and Alexander Lambert, and composition under Hermann Spielter.[1]

Zucca married Irwin Cassel (d. 1971) and had one child (Marwin Cassel, born July 4, 1925). Irwin Cassel wrote the words for a number of Zucca's songs, including the most popular "I Love Life." For a time, Zucca operated a concert hall which featured guest soloists including Efrem Zimbalist, Mischa Elman, Jan Peerce and José Iturbi.

Mana-Zucca died in Miami on March 8, 1981. Her papers including copies of her compositions are housed at Florida International University.[2]


Mana-Zucca composed over 1,000 works, including opera, orchestral works, ballet, chamber music and solo works, including a violin concerto for the American violinist Joan Field, but is best known through popular songs.[3]


  1. ^ Ammer, Christine (2001). Unsung: a history of women in American music. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Mana-Zucca Cassel Dead at 89; Composed the Song "I Love Life"". New York Times. 11 March 1981.