A Love Affair with America: Three American Pieces by Lukas Foss

Between 1892 and 1954, over twelve million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island, including a substantial subgroup who were fleeing religious persecution leading up to and during the Second World War. This wave of migration brought famous composers like Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, and Kurt Weill to America as well as the aspiring musician Lukas Foss–in 1937. The fifteen-year-old Foss was soon recruited to attend the Curtis Institute, and just seven years later, he became the youngest composer to have a work, The Prairie, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Prairie, described by Foss in an interview as, “a love affair with America, my newly discovered home,” was also awarded the most important new American choral work by The New York Music Critics’ Circle and it ignited Foss’s career as an American composer.

Like The Prairie, Three American Pieces was written in 1944 and is representative of Foss’s search for an American sound in his new country. In this lecture recital, we will shed light on the iconic aspects of the American sound employed by Foss in Three American Pieces. These elements that often evoke American nostalgia, such as homophonic declamation, clearly delineated phrase structure, and folk-inspired melodies, may be most familiar to the flute world in Aaron Copland’s Duo. Highlighting Foss’s use of the American sound most closely associated with Copland, we will perform Three American Pieces in its entirety and portions of Duo for comparison and analytical purposes.

Performer Biography

Margaret (Gregory) Lambie is a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, where she has studied Flute Performance with Michael Gordon and Sarah Frisof. Her undergraduate degree came from Hastings College where she studied with Deb Johnson. Margaret has been a member of the KU Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, Hastings Symphony Orchestra, Eutiner Festspiele Opera Orchestra, Lawrence Community Orchestra, and Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City. Some of her other past honors include the KU Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Winner, Hastings Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition Winner in 2009 and 2014, principal of the National Flute Association Collegiate Flute Choir, and winner of the National Flute Association Masterclass Competition. This past summer, she performed at, and was Administrative Assistant for the Cortona Sessions, a new music festival in Cortona, Italy. Margaret maintains a private studio and is a grant writer at the Lied Center of Kansas.

As one of the first recipients of the Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship, Dorothy Glick Maglione is currently a Doctor of Philosophy Candidate in Musicology at the University of Kansas. Maglione earned her Master of Music in both Flute Performance and Musicology at the University of Kansas and her Bachelor of Music in Music Education at East Carolina University. Her major flute instructors have included Jennifer Dior, Christine Gustafson, David Fedele, and Sarah Frisof. While at the University of Kansas, Maglione had the privilege to record with the KU Wind Ensemble on the Landscapes and In the Shadow of No Towers Naxos albums, “Bliss” by Michael Torke for Ecstatic Records, and the Of Shadow and Light disc on Klavier Records. She recently received a 2017 Summer Research Scholarship to conduct archival work for her dissertation, "Immigrant Musicians: From Ellis Island to the American Stage," and she won the Chancellor's Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Maglione maintains a private flute studio and frequently performs on both modern and baroque flute in Kansas City, recently appearing with Sunflower Baroque and Kansas City Baroque Consortium.