Strauss, Johann, Jr.

   The son of a very talented composer and orchestra leader, Strauss was forbidden by his father to follow in his footsteps. It was his mother who encouraged his career. In 1844, following his study of music theory and composition with the choirmaster of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Strauss made his debut conducting his own orchestra at a casino in one of Vienna’s outer districts. When his father died in 1849, the son combined the two ensembles.
   Popularity came to Strauss quickly; only his association with dissidents during the Revolutions of 1848 kept him, until 1863, from the directorship of the Court Ball, one of the highlights of the Vienna Fasching or Carnival season. He never lost his unconventional streak, renouncing his Catholicism to marry his third wife, who was Jewish, in the Lutheran church. His lengthy tours through Europe with his orchestra were enormous successes, as was his visit to the United States in 1872.
   Strauss Jr. is known for his many graceful and melodic waltzes (“Blue Danube,” “Emperor Waltz,” “Tales from the Vienna Woods”) and a wide variety of other dance compositions. Some of these are really concert pieces, so musically elaborate that they defy execution in normal ballroom settings. The great popularity of operettas by the French composer Jacques Offenbach, especially Orpheus in the Underworld, which premiered in Vienna in 1860, moved Strauss to explore the genre. He wrote two classics, Die Fledermaus (1874) and The Gypsy Baron (1885). The appeal of both comes in large part from the composer’s fluent interweaving of harmonic and rhythmic structures found in common dance forms. Nevertheless, both works— Strauss called them light operas—show the composer’s familiarity with Richard Wagner’s technique of musical leading motifs. They are still performed today.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • STRAUSS, JOHANN, JR. — STRAUSS, JOHANN, JR. (Baptist; 1825–1899), composer, conductor, and violinist. He was the eldest son of the celebrated composer and violinist Johann Strauss (1804–49), known as the Waltz King. Strauss, Jr., who began composing when he was six,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Strauss,Johann — Strauss (strous, shtrous), Johann. Known as “the Elder.” 1804 1849. Austrian violinist and composer of waltzes and other works, notably Redetzky March (1848). His son Johann (1825 1899), known as “the Younger,” is sometimes called “the Waltz… …   Universalium

  • Strauss, Johann, Jr. — (1825–1899)    The “Waltz King,” as Johann Strauss Jr. was known, was born in Vienna on October 25, 1825, the son of composer and conductor Johann Strauss Sr. He studied the violin and by 1844 was conducting his own dance band in a Viennese… …   The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick

  • Strauss, Johann — (1804 49) Compositor austríaco. Fue un gran difusor, como compositor y director de música de baile, esp. valses. Publicó 479 valses y galops. (1825 99) Compositor austríaco, hijo de Johann Strauss (1804 49). Sus composiciones se distinguen por el …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • STRAUSS, JOHANN —    musical composer, born at Vienna; was a musical conductor and composer, chiefly of waltz music …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Strauss, Johann, The Younger — ▪ Austrian composer born Oct. 25, 1825, Vienna, Austria died June 3, 1899, Vienna       “the Waltz King,” a composer famous for his Viennese waltzes and operettas.       Strauss was the eldest son of the composer Johann Strauss the Elder. Because …   Universalium

  • Strauss, Johann, The Elder — ▪ Austrian composer born March 14, 1804, Vienna, Austria died Sept. 24, 1849, Vienna       one of the principal composers of Viennese waltzes.       Strauss became a viola player in the dance orchestra of Michael Pamer, a composer of light music …   Universalium

  • Strauss, Johann, the Younger —  (1825–1899) Austrian composer known for waltzes, polkas, marches, and operettas. His father, Johann Strauss the Elder (1804–1849), brothers Eduard (1835–1916) and Josef (1827–1870), and son Johann Strauss III (1866–1939) were also composers.… …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Strauss, Johann (Baptist) — born Oct. 25, 1825, Vienna, Austria died June 3, 1899, Vienna Austrian composer. His father, Johann Strauss the Elder, was a self taught musician who established a musical dynasty in Vienna. A violinist, he played in a dance orchestra from 1819;… …   Universalium

  • Strauss, Johann (Baptist) — (25 oct. 1825, Viena, Austria–3 jun. 1899, Viena). Compositor austríaco. Su padre, Johann Strauss el Viejo, fue un músico autodidacto que estableció una dinastía musical en Viena. Violinista, desde 1819 tocó en una orquesta de baile; cuando el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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