Foss, Lucas (b. Fuchs)(1922– ) composer, conductor, pianist; born in Berlin, Germany. A precocious talent, he studied at the Curtis Institute and with Hindemith at Yale, and was a Koussevitzky protégé at Tanglewood. First gaining fame as a pianist, he established himself as a composer with conservative "Americana" works such as The Prairie for orchestra (1943); later he turned to an avant-garde idiom, often with improvisatory elements. He conducted widely, leading the Buffalo Philharmonic (1963–70) and the Brooklyn Philharmonic (1971–90), meanwhile working for shorter terms with orchestras in Jerusalem and Milwaukee, Wis.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.