Johann Strauss (son), full name Johann Baptist Strauss, was an Austrian composer and conductor who was born in Vienna on 25 October 1825 and also died in Vienna on 3 June 1899. He is known for his countless Viennese waltzes, polkas, marches and operettas, which made him one of the most important and popular composers of the 19th century.
Strauss came from a family of musicians. His father Johann Strauss was also a respected composer who composed, among other things, the world-famous "Radetzky March". Despite initial ideas that his son should pursue a career outside music, Johann Strauss Sohn - like his brothers Josef and Eduard - developed a passion for making music and composing at an early age.
He began his career as a violinist and later as a conductor. His talent for catchy melodies and lively rhythms contributed to his music gaining great popularity throughout Europe and beyond. Among the most famous works of the "Waltz King" are waltzes such as the "Danube Waltz", the "Emperor Waltz" and "Tales from the Vienna Woods", polkas such as "Under Thunder and Lightning" and the "Tritsch-Tratsch Polka" as well as operettas such as "Die Fledermaus" and "Der Zigeunerbaron".
The Viennese Prater played an important role in Johann Strauss' work and creativity: on the occasion of the marriage of Emperor Franz Joseph I to Elisabeth ("Sisi") in 1854, the Viennese waltz "Elisabethenklänge", composed by Johann Strauss especially for the occasion, was played at the Emperor's Festival in the Prater in front of around 200,000 onlookers. A few years later, Johann Strauss himself organised a large public festival in the Vienna Prater.
Strauss' music embodies the charm, lightness and elegance of the Viennese lifestyle in the 19th century. His compositions were often performed at social occasions, balls and concerts and helped celebrate the waltz tradition in Vienna. His works are still performed today in concert halls around the world and are an essential part of Austria's cultural heritage. At the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Concert alone, his music reaches hundreds of millions of viewers in front of TV sets around the world year after year.
Johann Strauss left behind an extensive repertoire of melodies that evoke both joy and nostalgia. His influence on music history and his significance for Viennese culture are undeniable and make him a prominent figure in the world of classical music.