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Texas State University
Texas State University

Lukas Foss

Composer, Conductor
Friday, November 2, 1991

Lukas Foss — conductor, composer, teacher and performer was a world leader in the field of contemporary music. Southwest Texas (now Texas State University) was pleased to host him in residence the week during the 1990 Southwest Contemporary Music Festival and Conference.

Foss is conductor emeritus of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Milwaukee Symphony. He served as music director of lhc> Ojai Festival in California and has conducted marathon concerts at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and at the Spoleto Festival. He was active in the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and for two years directed the New York Philharmonic summer festival concerts at Lincoln Center. He also had the honor of being named successor to Arnold Schoenberg as professor of composition at UCLA, a post he held for ten years.

A former conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony, he has guest conducted orchestras throughout the world. From 1963 to 1970, Foss served as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and brought that orchestra to national attention. He has been principal conductor and music director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic since 1971. In 1981 he became music director of the Milwaukee Symphony, which completed a highly successful European tour five years later.

As one of America's leading composers, Foss has more than 85 compositions to his credit. At 23 he was the youngest composer ever awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and has since received numerous commissions, awards and honors for his works. Recognized as a major contributor to contemporary music, he was elected a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Foss conducted the SWT Symphony Orchestra and Chorale in a performance of his Psalms on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and the SWT Wind Ensemble in a performance of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and El Salon Mexico on Thursday, Nov. 15. Both events began at 8 p.m. in Evans Auditorium. 

—Adapted from the original event program distributed at Lukas Foss' LBJ Distinguished Lecture

“I was thinking how lucky we are here in America that the universities are the stronghold of culture... Indeed, our life, our cultural life would be impoverished if it weren’t for the things that are happening on campus.”

“We are living with clichés ,and what I’m really trying to do in this talk is to rid us of some of the cliché ideas that are in the way of real understanding and real insight. There are so many such words like originality, you know, and people think that if you’re original then you have talent, but that’s not the way it starts. You start out unoriginal.”