Prof. Dr. Ursula Brandstätter was born in Upper Austria and studied music and French for secondary school teaching as well as piano pedagogy in Vienna. She then completed her doctoral studies in music education at the Berlin University of the Arts.
Following a variety of pedagogical engagements in secondary schools, music schools, and conservatories, she began her university career as a research associate at the Institute for Music Education at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In 2002, she was appointed Professor of Music Education at the Berlin University of the Arts.
In addition to her teaching and research engagements, she has been continuously involved in the development of the university: as a course director in the conversion of the courses of study to BA/MA, as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Music, and also across the faculties in the establishment of the Graduate School for Arts and Sciences, the Research Training Collegium ‘The Knowledge of the Arts’ and the ‘Studium Generale’ at the Berlin University of the Arts.
Parallel to her employment, she earned a master's degree in the field of Organisational Development in the Service Sector.
As a scholar and author, she has made a name for herself primarily in the field of interdisciplinary arts (Musik im Spiegel der Sprache, Stuttgart 1990; Bildende Kunst und Musik im Dialog, Augsburg 2004/2009) as well as in the area of aesthetics (Grundfragen der Ästhetik, Cologne 2008; Erkenntnis durch Kunst, Cologne 2013).
Since November 2012, she has been Rector of the Anton Bruckner Private University for Music, Drama and Dance in Linz/Austria. The focus of her first term of office was on the relocation of the Bruckner University to a new state-of-the-art building and the associated reorientation of the university at the new location. In her second term, which began in 2017, the further development of the Bruckner University focussed on the expansion of national and international cooperation, networking with cultural and educational institutions in the region, and the introduction of a doctoral programme.