FOSS, Lukas (1922-), German-born American conductor, pianist, and
influential avant-garde composer. Originally surnamed Fuchs, Foss was born in Berlin, and from the age of 15 he lived in the U.S., where he studied composition with Randall Thompson and Paul Hindemith. Foss's
early music, such as Song of Songs (1947) for soprano and orchestra, is neoclassical. In the late 1950s he turned to serialism, chance and improvisation, and the use of mathematical probabilities as evinced in
Time Cycle (1959-60) for soprano and orchestra and Baroque Variations (1967) for orchestra. From 1963 to 1970 Foss was conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1971 he was
named conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra; since 1981 he has also conducted the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983.