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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 14 March 1804Vienna, Austrian Empire [now Austria]
Date of Death 25 September 1849Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]  (scarlet fever)

Mini Bio (1)

Johann Strauss Sr. was born on March 14, 1804, in Vienna, Austria. His father owned a small inn on the river Danube, and his mother was innkeeper, she died when he was seven years old. Strauss studied music with Johann Polichansky and also was an apprentice of a bookbinder. He joined a string quartet that grew into a small orchestra playing Viennese waltzes and German dances. Strauss became the leader of the orchestra, then he eventually became conductor of another orchestra. In 1825 he formed his own orchestra and began writing waltzes and other dancing music for his band.

In 1825 Strauss Sr. married Maria Ann Streim in the parish church of Liechtenthal in Vienna. They had three sons. Their elder son Johann Strauß became the most famous composer of waltzes and operettas. Their younger sons 'Josef Strauss' and Eduard Strauss deputized for their famous brother Johann Strauß when he was ailing. They continued the legacy of the Strauss Family Dynasty. In 1834 Strauss Sr. took on a mistress, named Emilie Trambusch, with whom he had eight children.

During the 1830's and 1840's Strauss Sr. became one of the most well known dance composers in Vienna. He wrote mostly waltzes, polkas, and marches, and also absorbed influences from his concert tours in other countries, where he picked up tunes of quadrille and gigue. Strauss Sr. toured with his band to France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, England and Scotland. His 1837 trip to France brought him highest international acclaim and proved his popularity with all audiences. Influential critic and composer Hector Berlioz promoted Strauss' popularity, helping his ambitious plan to perform his music in England for the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. After that Strauss made many more concert tours to England with his orchestra.

In Vienna he established himself at the Sperl-Ballroom as the most popular dancing music composer. He became the first entertainer to start charging a fixed entrance fee to his concerts instead of an old practice of passing around a collection plate. In 1845 his son Johann Strauß debuted at the Dommayer's Casino and immediately became his competitor. Strauss Sr. was jealous about his son's talent and success and refused to play ever again at the Dommayer's Casino. In 1848 Strauss Sr. composed his most famous piece of music titled Radetzky March. It was dedicated to Austrian Field Marshal Radetzky and remained a popular march among the soldiers. The tradition among officers was to start clapping and stomping their feet when the chorus was played. This tradition is carried over today when Radetzky March is played in classical music venues in Vienna.

Strauss Sr. survived a divorce suit which was started by his wife Maria Anna in 1844, and allowed his sons to actively pursue an independent musical career. He died from scarlet fever on September 25, 1849, in Vienna, and was laid to rest in Zentralfriedhof in Vienna, Ausria.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Maria Anna Streim (11 July 1825 - ?) (divorced) (6 children)

Trivia (1)

He had six children with his wife: sons Johann Strauß, Josef Strauß, Eduard (born 15 March 1835), and Ferdinand (born 1834), who lived only ten months; and daughters Anna (born 1829), and Therese (born 1831).

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