Lukas Foss and Richard Stoltzman | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Lukas Foss and Richard Stoltzman




For much of his career, composer, conductor, pianist, and educator Lukas Foss worked in the shadow of his contemporary Leonard Bernstein, taking assignments in Buffalo and Milwaukee and along the way compiling an impressive, if unclassifiable, body of work. Now 75, Foss is finally being recognized as a true American master, a refugee from Nazi Germany who's made an indelible mark on the musical culture of his adopted country. Foss, who displays an encyclopedic knowledge of aesthetic styles, claims he writes against the prevailing fashion. He has embraced serial, chance, electronic, and other modern techniques and trends, but at heart he's a romantic. Two of his chamber pieces from the late 40s--Fantasy Rondo and Composer's Holiday, a giddy tribute to Appalachian fiddle music--will be included in this Ravinia recital, with Foss on piano and Richard Stoltzman, making his belated Ravinia debut, on clarinet. Foss is also a champion of new and rarely performed music, and he builds his programs with an eye to historical continuity and resonances. This all-American bill also includes obscure but characteristic works by Gershwin, Copland, and Ives, as well as Bernstein's landmark Clarinet Sonata, the rondo from Hindemith's Clarinet Sonata, and Steve Reich's New York Counterpoint, a 1985 commission for Stoltzman. Tuesday, 8 PM, Martin Theatre, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park; 847-266-5100. TED SHEN

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/ Carol Weinberg.

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