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Johann Strauss Jr.

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Johann Strauss Jr.

Biography

Johann Strauss, Jr. (25 October 1825, Vienna, Austria – 3 June 1899, Vienna, Austria) was an Austrian composer and conductor.

Strauss the younger was not permitted by his father, the well-known Johann Strauss Sr., to study music, and after receiving a basic general education, he became a bank clerk. His mother, however, had him take music lessons in secret, and after the parents separated, Johann took up the study of the violin and theory in earnest. At the age of 19, he formed an orchestra and presented concerts that soon began to rival those of his more famous father.

Nineteenth-century Vienna, a wealthy, self-indulgent, and sensous city, was ready for music by the Strausses. A saying by Charles Joseph, Prince of Ligne, concerning the socially minded Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), “It dances but never gets anything done,” was at least partly true. The music of the Strauss family is still heard in cities around the world.

Johann the younger became known as the Waltz King as a result of his numerous and popular waltz compositions. The best known of these include Artist’s Life; Tales from the Vienna Woods; Wine, Women, and Song; and The Blue Danube. In his later years he wrote operettas, the best known being Die Fledermaus.


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