Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II (Sohn) was an Austrian composer and conductor of the 19th century, who became famous all over Europe as the “Waltz King” with his popular waltz compositions, such as "On the Beautiful Blue Danube," "Vienna Blood" or the "Emperor Waltz". His unique oeuvre includes more than 500 waltzes, 16 operettas, polkas, quadrilles, one ballet and one opera.

Musical work

Johann Strauss II (Sohn) was born in 1825 as son of Johann Strauss I (Vater), who had also been widely known as musician and composer and who had made a major contribution to the international establishment of the waltz genre by conducting numerous concerts throughout Europe. Against the will of his father, his mother intensively encouraged Johann Strauss Jr.’s musical talent by secretly providing him violin and composition lessons. He soon founded his own orchestra and began to give concerts in public in order to provide for family necessities instead of his offended father. His first concert was to be a huge success: On October 15, 1844 Johann Strauss performed at the Dommayer Casino, which was famous for its cultural events at that time. His compositions were enthusiastically received by the audience- Johann Strauss Jr. was celebrated as the new star of the Viennese cultural life and thus became his own father's biggest rival.

Johann Strauss – The Waltz King

After the death of his father in 1849, Johann Strauss II took over the father's orchestra and quickly captured the favor of the international audience across Europe. By 1864, the musician exclusively composed dance music and thereby helped the waltz genre to its golden period. In doing so, he earned his reputation as the "Waltz King". His most famous work is his waltz "On the Beautiful Blue Danube", which experienced its first performance in Vienna in 1867 and is considered the unofficial anthem of Austria up to the present day.

The begin of the Golden Age of Viennese operetta

Later, the internationally appreciated composer also addressed other genres: in 1871, the premiere of his first operetta “Indigo and the 40 Thieves" took place the Theater an der Wien. After mixed reviews on his debut he finally silenced all critics with his sensational work "The Bat” 3 years later. To date, this work is the world's most played operetta of all time. The "Waltz King" thus became the founder of the "Golden Age of Viennese operetta", and also had a lot of success with his compositions of the following years ("A Night in Venice", "The Gypsy Baron").

Most significant works (Selection):

Op. 314 – „An der schönen blauen Donau“ ("On the Beautiful Blue Danube”)
Op. 325 – „Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald“ (“Tales from the Vienna Woods“)
Op. 354 – „Wiener Blut“ (“Viennese Blood“)
Op. 410 – „Frühlingsstimmen“ (“Voices of Spring“)
Op. 437 – „Kaiserwalzer“ (“Emperor Waltz“)

Operetta – „Der Zigeunerbaron“ (“The Gypsy Baron“)
Operetta – „Die Fledermaus“ (“The Bat“)
Operetta – „Eine Nacht in Venedig“ (“A Night in Venice”)