Composer Lukas Foss dies at 86

Musician's unique style made him a standout

Lukas Foss, a composer whose musical curiosity led him to create pieces that reflected a variety of styles, died of a heart attack Feb. 1 in New York. He was 86.

He had also been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Foss was born in Germany and trained there and in Paris and Philadelphia. He was known for composing in different musical styles, often combining past and present influences and techniques.

An accomplished pianist, he performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was also an experienced conductor, working with such orchestras as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony.

Foss directed six Ojai Music Festivals and led 12 marathon concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, each dedicated to one composer. He succeeded Arnold Schoenberg as head of composition at UCLA and taught there for 10 years.

He is survived by his wife Cornelia, a son, a daughter, a brother and three granddaughters.

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