Lukas Foss, classical music composer

Lukas Foss


Lukas Foss (August 15, 1922 – February 1, 2009) was a German-born American composer, conductor, pianist, and professor.

He was born as Lukas Fuchs in Berlin, Germany in 1922. His father was the scholar Martin Fuchs. After the rise of Nazism in Germany, he and his family moved to Paris in 1933, where he studied piano with Lazare Lévy, composition with Noël Gallon, orchestration with Felix Wolfes, and flute with Louis Moyse. In 1937, he moved with his parents and brother to the United States, where the family name was changed from Fuchs to Foss. The name change was done because of advice from the Quakers, who took the family in when they arrived. He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, with Isabelle Vengerova (piano), Rosario Scalero (composition) and Fritz Reiner (conducting).

He also studied with Sergei Koussevitzky during the summers from 1939 to 1943 at the Berkshire Music Center (now known as the Tanglewood Music Center) and, as a special student, composition with Paul Hindemith at Yale University from 1939 to 1940. He became an American citizen in 1942.

Foss was appointed professor of music at UCLA in 1953, replacing Arnold Schoenberg. While there he founded the Improvisation Chamber Ensemble, which made its Boston debut in 1962 for the Peabody Mason Concert series. He founded the Center for Creative and Performing Arts in 1963 while at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

From 1963 to 1970 he was Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1981 to 1986, he was conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He was a Professor of Music, Theory, and Composition at Boston University beginning in 1991. His notable students include Faye-Ellen Silverman, Claire Polin and Rocco Di Pietro.

He is grouped in the "Boston school" along with Arthur Berger, Irving Fine, Alexei Haieff, Harold Shapero, and Claudio Spies.

He was a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity.

Lukas Foss died at his home in Manhattan on February 1, 2009, aged 86, from a heart attack.

(from Wikipedia)

Composer Title Date Action
Lukas Foss Composer’s Holiday, from Three American Pieces 01/21/2009 Play Add to playlist
Lukas Foss Dedication, from Three American Pieces 01/13/2009 Play Add to playlist
Lukas Foss Early Song, from Three American Pieces 01/16/2009 Play Add to playlist
Lukas Foss Composer’s Holiday, from Three American Pieces 11/04/2010 Play Add to playlist
Lukas Foss Composer’s Holiday, from Three American Pieces for Violin and Piano 03/01/2011 Play Add to playlist
Lukas Foss Goldmore Variation, from 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg 11/19/2011 Play Add to playlist
Lukas Foss Capriccio for Cello and Piano 06/07/2016 Play Add to playlist