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February 2009 Archives

Composer Lukas Foss Dies At Age 86

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Lukas Foss

Lukas Foss, Composer at Home in Many Stylistic Currents, Dies at 86

By Allan Kozinn
NY Times

Lukas Foss, a prolific and versatile composer who was also a respected pianist and conductor, died at his home in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 86, and also had a home in Bridgehampton, N.Y. His wife, Cornelia, announced his death.

Although he was a German émigré, Mr. Foss was, from the start of his composing career, considered an important voice in the burgeoning world of American composition, along with Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Elliott Carter and Leonard Bernstein. And like Bernstein, he enthusiastically championed the works of his colleagues. But where Bernstein, in his compositions, melded jazz and theater music with a lush symphonic neo-Romanticism – or wrote theater music outright – Mr. Foss preferred to explore the byways of the avant-garde, focusing at different times on techniques from serialism and electronic music to Minimalism and improvisation. But as he moved from style to style, his voice remained distinctive, partly because he distrusted rules and never fully adhered to those of the approaches he adopted, and partly because a current of mercurial wit ran through his work.

Read more about this at the New York Times website:

   www.nytimes.com/2009/02/02/arts/music/02foss.html

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