“Lucky” Mosko, 1947-2005

I am told that Stephen “Lucky” Mosko (see here and here) has passed away at the age of only 58. He was a wonderful and well-regarded conductor, a faculty member at CalArts, and a composer too, though I’ve never heard any of his music. I know him only by reputation and through some wonderful recordings of Morton Feldman’s music that he conducted. I’m sure more detail on his career will be filled in in coming months. I do know that his father gave him the nickname Lucky, which he carried all his life, by telling him how lucky he was to have him for a father.


  1. says

    I just learned of this sad news from a friend and I’m stunned. Lucky was my mentor at CalArts. He was a radiant, kind person whose passion for music was infectious. I’ll miss him.

  2. says

    Lucky Mosko died unexpectedly on Tuesday, at his home, just a day shy of his 58th birthday. He was a vastly generous spirit to all who had the pleasure of counting him as a teacher and friend. He loved his students and colleagues like they were family, and his hospitable ear and mind both had an almost unfathomably broad embrace; he became a passionate authority, in his own way, on almost everything he came in contact with. Yet the loss of Lucky as a fellow composer somehow exceeds the loss of a wonderful friend and luminous mind. His music was and is exceptional, a passionate weave of highly disparate matter, turning in the cosmos of Lucky’s musical mind, miraculously drawn into a singular musical connectedness by his adventurous sense of fun and imagination. Lucky’s last works pushed this adventure to its furthest limit yet, a series of “Journals”, a project he stove to work on daily, minding the pathways of his thoughts even more directly than in “Indigenous Music”, now embracing everything from notated musical passages to texts on various topics to rigorous yet often humorous analytic charts to visual images, all captured in the wide net of Lucky’s affection, always driving him with delight to reinvent structure to include the next detail. Lucky had also continued of late his long, loving involvement with the music of his great friend Morton Feldman. Just this November, I assisted him in the production of “For Christian Wolff”, a tremendous 3-hour work, and one of Feldman’s last. This record will add to the lasting tributes, of which there are now quite many, to the devotion with which Lucky led his musical life.

  3. serge tcherepnine says

    I had a friend named “Happy” and another named “Lucky”.
    Beware .. It is best not to name your offsprings what may turn out not to be entirely true !
    For all the years I knew him, Lucky courageously fought and survived the accidental bane like a warrior from a land in a fable. Iceland it was. Long may his music be heard teaching courage and joy, from that scraggly volcanic landscape beyond the mind..
    It is said Iceland (like that other mysterious place, Finland) is a nation of alcoholics. I lift my glass in praise
    (as I am sure old Lucky must have done many a time) Can someone refill it ?!