Lukas Foss was an American-German composer, conductor, and pianist of the Twentieth century. His early works are neoclassical in style while his later works are polystylistic. Foss became widely popular because of his experiments with improvisation as well as aleatory music. He spent his education in Paris and Berlin. At age 15, Foss published his first masterpiece. In 1957, he established the Improvisation Chamber Ensemble, which ultimately served as the key to many of his musical experiments. In 1963, Foss found the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The early works of Foss are neoclassical—tonal and well-structured in harmony and contrast.
Some of Foss' famous compositions include but not limited to the following: Divertissement for string quartet (1972); the orchestral work Folksong (1975); American Cantata for tenor, soprano, two speakers, chorus, and orchestra (1977); and Celebration, written for the 50th anniversary (July 6, 1990) of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, Mass.
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