Lukas Foss

Lukas Foss ( born August 15, 1922 as Lukas Fuchs in Berlin, † February 1, 2009 in New York City ) was an American composer and conductor of German origin.


Lukas Fuchs - as he was known native - was forced to emigrate as a Jew with his family from Germany in 1933 and received a musical education in Paris, among others, Noël Gallon and Felix Wolfes, before he and 1937-1940 in the United States at the Curtis Institute then at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute studied with Sergei Koussevitzky and at Yale University with Paul Hindemith. Since 1944 he was a pianist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. From 1950 to 1952 he studied in Rome.

Since 1952 to 1962 he was professor and orchestra conductor at the University of California at Los Angeles. He then headed to the symphony orchestra in Buffalo, since 1972, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He was also the 1972/73 "Composer in Residence" at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. From 1981 to 1986 he was conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. 1989/90 he worked at the Tanglewood Music Center and in 1991 professor at the School for the Arts at Boston University.


In addition to three operas and three ballets, two symphonies, two piano concertos, an oboe, a cello and a clarinet concerto, chamber works, cantatas and songs Foss composed in 1960, numerous experimental works.

  • The Prairie, cantata, 1942
  • The Gift of the Magi, Ballet, 1945
  • The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, opera based on a story by Mark Twain, 1949
  • Handle Elkin, opera, 1955
  • Symphony of the chorale, 1956/58
  • Introductions and Goodbys, opera, 1959
  • Time Cycle, 1960
  • Playable Echoi for clarinet, cello, percussion and piano, in four different versions, 1963
  • Elytres for eleven to twenty-two instruments
  • Non- improvisation
  • Paradigm for five musicians who play instruments whisper, speak, and cry
  • Men at Play for four to six players and tape
  • Geod for four orchestral groups
  • Fragments of Archilochus for counter-tenor, speaker, four small choirs and a large choir, mandolin, guitar and three percussionists
  • Renaissance Concerto, 1990