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Nora Essman Morrow

October 12, 1952 May 5, 2023
Nora Essman Morrow
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Obituary for Nora Essman Morrow

Nora Essman Morrow, 70, left her body late in the night of May 5, 2023, after a brief unexpected illness. Her husband and son were in the room with her as she went, and can confirm it was peaceful.

Nora was an incredibly gifted musician, who leaves behind a musical legacy. From writing songs for the guitar in her early childhood in The Bronx to composing pieces for quartets during her later life in Larchmont, New York, Nora continuously shared her deep musical gift with the world.

Nora studied music–classical, contemporary, electronic, jazz, and musical education–at Precollege Division of Manhattan School of Music, The High School of Music and Art in NYC, The City University of New York, The University of Utah - Salt Lake City, the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and Northern Illinois University.

For many years Nora used her gift to nurture a generation of new creatives: she taught dozens of children her philosophy of music as a beloved piano teacher, and served as a dance accompanist in New York, Utah, Wisconsin, and Illinois, providing her music as the driving spirit for modern and ballet dancers at some of the most prestigious dance conservatories in America.

Her true calling was as composer: Nora composed hundreds of pieces for quartets, solo flutists, piano, and more. In recent years, her compositions began to see the attention they truly deserve: live performances at amazing venues like Bargemusic, the floating music hall in New York, the Encontro International String Festival in Brazil, and the ‘Footsteps of Stravinsky’ program in Belgium. Her string quartet piece ‘Rose Moon’ was a mainstay for DJs on WQXR, New York City’s only classical music station, which Nora listened to since childhood.

In lieu of flowers, please take the time to listen to Nora’s music on Spotify (, or wherever you stream music, and share it with your networks. The thing she wanted most was to share her music with the world, and hopefully if enough of us listen her music will move up the charts and more people will be able to enjoy her beautiful creations.

Nora is predeceased by her parents, Zora and Leonard Essman, a Russian Professor and Doctor, respectively.

She leaves behind her husband, Philip Morrow, working in organic food industry management; her son, journalist Sean Morrow; an older brother, wine educator Elliot Essman; two younger sisters, actress-comedian Susie Essman, and Broadway general manager Nina Essman ; and 12 nieces and nephews.

Her belief system centered around the practice of Ho'oponopono, which offers this mantra for cleansing after the loss of a loved one: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”

The family will sit shiva on Thursday evening in the Upper West Side and Saturday afternoon in Palisades, New York. Contact a family member for further details.

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