Tuesday, February 03, 2009

R.I.P. - Lukas Foss

I learned this morning that Composer and Conductor Lukas Foss has died. Buffalo News Columnist Mary Kunz Goldman wrote a reflection on his life today.

My mom's memories of Lukas Foss come from being in the audience for several Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concerts when Foss led the ensemble.

Mine are even more experiential. While I was still a music education major at Baldwin-Wallace College, Lukas Foss was a guest at the college for its FOCUS Festival. I played violin in the orchestra concert that featured one of the pieces composed by him. What an incredible experience. If you had questions about how a certain passage was to be interpreted, you just asked the slight, white-haired man standing on the podium in front of you what he wanted when he wrote the composition.

Modern art and contemporary classical music (there's an oxymoron) are challenging for me. Dissonance in sound and on canvas don't mesh well with what I personally consider aesthetically pleasing. Still, I appreciate when someone is able to make sense of the "noise" so I can come away with some understanding of the intent of the artist. I'm grateful I had the opportunity at least once to perform in an ensemble where this was able to happen.

1 comment:

Pamela said...

Oh, Foss. He was an amazing person.

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