Johann Strauss

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Strauss, Johann:

see StraussStrauss
, family of Viennese musicians. Johann Strauss, 1804–49, learned to play the violin against his parents' wishes. In 1819 he joined the dance orchestra of Josef Lanner (1801–43), whom he later rivaled. In 1826 Strauss organized his own orchestra.
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Strauss, Johann


(the Elder). Born Mar. 14, 1804, in Vienna; died there Sept. 25, 1849. Austrian composer, violinist, and conductor.

Strauss studied violin with A. Polischansky and composition with I. von Seyfried. He joined J. Lanner’s quartet in 1819 and became assistant conductor of Lanner’s orchestra in 1824. In 1825, Strauss organized his own orchestra, which, in 1833, embarked on a series of European concert tours.

Strauss, one of the most popular masters of dance music of his day, further developed the musical idiom of Lanner, particularly in his waltzes. His distinctive dance cycles consist of several waltzes framed by an introduction and conclusion. Among Strauss’ more than 250 works are 152 waltzes, the most popular of which are the Donau-Lieder, Lorelei-Rheinklänge, Gabrielen-Walzer, Taglioni-Walzer, and Bajaderen-Walzer.

Strauss, Johann


(the Younger). Born Oct. 25, 1825, in Vienna; died there June 3, 1899. Austrian composer, conductor, and violinist. Son of the composer J. Strauss.

In 1844, J. Strauss, the Younger, organized his own orchestra; after his father’s death he merged the family orchestras into an ensemble with which he made several European tours and appeared in America. From 1856 to 1865 and in 1869 and 1872 he directed concert seasons in Pavlovsk, near St. Petersburg, and in 1886 he performed in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Several of his compositions have a Russian theme: Farewell to St. Petersburg (1858), the polka In Pavlovsk Forest (1869), and the fantasy-waltz In a Russian Village (1873).

Strauss was both an outstanding conductor and a remarkable violin virtuoso, and he combined both these roles in his concert performances. He enriched the dance music repertoire with a variety of compositions, including some 500 waltzes, galops, polkas, and quadrilles. His waltzes, notable for their beautiful melodies and stirring rhythms, have many ties with traditional Austrian folk music and with Viennese music evocative of everyday life.

Strauss created the classic Viennese waltz, for which he was crowned “King of the Waltz” by his contemporaries. The melodies of his finest waltzes (An der schönen blauen Donau [the Blue Danube], An Artist’s Life, Tales From the Vienna Woods, Vienna Blood, Voices of Spring, and Wine, Women, and Song), galops (Perpetuum Mobile), and polkas (Tritsch-Tratsch and Pizzicato Polka) have achieved world renown. Strauss also composed classic Viennese operettas, the finest of which include Die Fledermaus (1874), The Merry War (1881), A Night in Venice (1883), and The Gypsy Baron (1885).

Strauss’ younger brothers Joseph (1827–70) and Eduard (1835–1916) were also composers and conductors.


Meilikh, E. Iogann Shtraus: Iz istorii venskogo val’sa, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1964.


References in periodicals archive ?
His Johann Strauss Orchestra gave its first concert on New Year's Day 1988 and went on to built a massive worldwide audience.
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The concert on January 4 features some of the most famous waltzes from the Strauss family and their friends, played by the Johann Strauss Orchestra and with accompanying waltzing dancers in period costume.
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Further entertainment will be provided by the Johann Strauss Dancers in period costume, whose routines, created by award-winning choreographer Christopher Hampsonaim to capture the spirit of the music.
Rachel concluded: "I think it's fair to say that Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra have been instrumental in reviving Waltz music and bringing it to a whole new audience.
The cultural event Vienna Ball, organized by the Johann Strauss Association for Cultural Cooperation and the Embassy of the Republic of Austria in the Republic of Macedonia, took place for the 10th time at the Aleksandar Palace Hotel in Skopje on 8 March.
In his turn Johann Strauss the younger, the 'Waltz King', has himself appealed to pianists wishing to adapt his works.
And the classical music phenomenon Andre Rieu leads his Johann Strauss Orchestra at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
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In addition to arias and scenes by Verdi, Saint-Saens, Wagner, Lehar and Johann Strauss, there is--as expected--substantial material featuring Resnik in her two signature roles, Carmen in Bizet's opera and Klytemnestra in Richard Strauss's Elektra.