Lukas Foss

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

Music career

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.

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.Christian Science Monitor, 23 March 1962, Louis Chapin, "Lukas...
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