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Johann STRAUSS II
25 October 1825 - 3 June 1899 (age 73)

'The Waltz King
The most important member of the Strauss dynasty. Best known for his Viennese waltzes such as the Blue Danube.

He also wrote operettas of which Die Fledermaus is an outstanding example.

Family

Works

Career

Links

portrait of Johann Strauss II

Family

Born: Johann Strauss II, 25 October 1825, Vienna, Austria
Father: Johann Strauss I, also a composer, 'Father of the Waltz'
Mother: Maria Anna Streim
Siblings: Josef, Eduard, Anna, Therese and Ferdinand (died aged 10 months)
1st wife: Jetty Treffz (died 1862)
2nd wife: Angelika Dittrich (divorced)
3rd wife: Adele Deutsch
Children: None
Died: 3 June 1899, Vienna
Cause of death: pneumonia
Grave: Zentralfriedhof, Vienna. between Schubert and Brahms (see findagrave)

also known as Johann Strauss Jr, the Younger or the Son

For an overview of the Strauss Dynasty go to our page The Strauss Family


Works

Over 500 Waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, marches, mazurkas, and gallops including:
- the Blue Danube
- Tales from the Vienna Woods
- Artist's Life
- Wine, Women, and Song

18 Operettas including:
- Die Fledermaus
- The Gypsy Baron
- A Night in Venice

1 Ballet:
- Cinderella



Favorite Composers in Art - Johann Strauss II
A fascinating collection of images - art, portraits, caricatures, cartoons, album covers and postage stamps.


Career

- Age 6: composed his first waltz.
Education: His father wanted him to be a banker and aggressively discouraged him from a career in music. His mother secretly managed to get him music lessons.
- Age 19: formed his own small orchestra, in competition to his father, and played in restaurants.
- Age 24: His father died so he merged the two orchestras.
- Age 28: Suffered a nervous breakdown due to overwork and stress. Doctors ordered him to rest for a couple of months and the family persuaded his brother Josef to take over the orchestra temporarily.
- Age 30: Invited to play in St.Petersburg, Russia. He did this every year for the next 10 years
- Age 37: married Jetta, a singer .
- Age 38: Offenbach, the French composer of very popular and successful light operas, visited Vienna and met Strauss who was encouraged to have a go at this kind of music as well. It was however his wife Jetta who pushed him more in this direction.
- Age 42: gave some successful concerts at Covent Garden, London.
- Age 45: resigned as court conductor to make more time for composing light opera.
- Age 47 (1872): US tour - Boston and New York.
- Age 53: Jetta died. He married 28 year old Angelika 6 weeks later.
- Age 57: Angelika left him for another man.
He then began a relationship with Adele who he had known for some time. She was a very positive influence on his composing and encouraged him to compose serious opera.
As long as Angelika was alive the Catholic Church would not permit them to marry. So after trying for three years he left the Roman Catholic Church to become a Lutheran Protestant and changed his nationality from Austrian to German.
- He continued composing dances and operettas well into old age.
- Age 73: diagnosed with pleural pneumonia and died in Vienna.           


The Blue Danube - Waltz


"Tritsch Tratsch Polka" 


Die Fledermaus (The Bat) Overture
Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra


Voices of Spring (Waltz)
Kathleen Battle, Karajan and Vienna Phil.


The Great Waltz (1938)Trailer


Bugs Bunny - A Corny Concerto (1943)
Tales from the Vienna Woods and The Blue Danube


The Johann Strauss Orchestras

The Viennese music of the Strausses has proved to be of lasting popularity. The original Johann Strauss Orchestra was disbanded by Eduard Strauss I in 1901 but since then there have been various reincarnations. The best known current ones are:

The Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra.
Formed in 1965 in Vienna, its first conductor was Eduard Strauss II who took it on a 6 week tour of the USA in 1966.
It still has a very active tour schedule worldwide.
website: http://www.wiener-johann-strauss-orchester.at/

André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra
Founded by the Dutch violinist André Rieu in 1987 it is known for performing popular classics in a showy, spectacular style. André Rieu himself has taken over the title of 'Waltz King' and is a talented showman.
website: www.andrerieu.com

New Year's Concert
This world famous annual concert by the Vienna Philharmonic was first performed in 1939. It takes place on the morning of January 1 and has an estimated audience of 50 million in 73 countries. Tickets are in such high demand that they are allocated by lottery for which you need to register a year in advance.
website: www.wienerphilharmoniker.at


Links, sources and where to go for more information:

Answers.com a selection of reference sites including Wikipedia

The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain

The Johann Strauss Society of America

The Strauss Family - our overview of the dynasty members

Back to 52composers HOME page


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