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BU Orchestra Honors Lukas Foss

Tonight’s program features Elegy for Anne Frank


In the slide show above, David Hoose conducts a BU Symphony Orchestra rehearsal. Photos by Kalman Zabarsky. Slide show by Kimberly Cornuelle

Lukas Foss’ haunting Elegy for Anne Frank highlights tonight’s BU Symphony Orchestra concert, dedicated to the memory of the versatile composer and former College of Fine Arts professor, who died in February 2009. Featuring Polish-born pianist Maja Tremiszewska (CFA’12), Elegy will kick off a program of contemporary works, including two by CFA faculty members.

Under the direction of David Hoose, a CFA professor of music and director of orchestral activities, the orchestra will take the stage at the Tsai Performance Center at 7:30 p.m.

Written in 1989 for piano and orchestra, Elegy has been performed with and without narration drawn from The Diary of Anne Frank. Tonight’s performance will not have narration.

Born Lukas Fuchs in Berlin in 1922, Foss and his family fled to Paris when the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933. There Foss studied with prominent musicians of the time, including flutist Louis Moyse and composer Noel Gallon.

“As a composer Foss went everywhere, and his art is everything: serious and full of humor, derivative and original, old and new,” Richard Cornell, a CFA associate professor of composition, told Bostonia magazine in 2009. “What it is not is predictable, comfortable; he spoke as a musical contrarian.”

In addition to the work by Foss (Hon.’03), tonight’s concert includes the world premiere of John Wallace’s Arboreal Memories. A CFA assistant professor of music, composition, and theory, Wallace (CFA’03), a composer of growing reputation, studied with Foss.

Also on he program is Aaron Copeland’s Billy the Kid, Suite from the Ballet, and the Boston premiere of Lucky This Point (A Summer Night), composed by Rodney Lister, a CFA lecturer in composition and theory. Lister’s work has been performed at Tanglewood, the Library of Congress, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As a pianist he has played in Boston premieres of works by Virgil Thomson, Milton Babbitt, Lee Hyla, and Paul Bowles.

Hoose has been a guest conductor for many prominent orchestras, including the Chicago Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Handel & Haydn Society, and New England Conservatory’s symphony orchestra. He is the music director of the Cantata Singers and Ensemble, which will perform March 12 at Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston.

Boston University Symphony Orchestra: In Memory of Lukas Foss, directed by David Hoose, will be performed on Thursday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m., at the Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 617-353-8724.

Susan Seligson can be reached at sueselig@bu.edu. Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter @kcornuel.

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