Music: Jumpin' Opera

When Berlin-born Composer Lukas Foss first came to the U.S. 13 years ago, he used to worry about the European flavor of his music. Once he even went so far as to say: "I want to be considered an American composer ... one of the boys." At 27, blue-eyed Wunderkind Foss takes a little easier view of the matter. "Now," says he, "I set a Sandburg poem to music or a story by Mark Twain without thinking of being an American or not."

The Sandburg poem, Prairie, was the inspiration for a cantata by Foss which won him a citation from the...

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