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Johann Strauss jun Biography

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Shortly about Johann Strauss junior's life

On 25.October 25, 1825 Johann Baptist Strauss junior was born, his parents Johann Strauss sr. and Anna Streim had a rush marriage. Starting from 1841 he studied accounting/controlling at the polytechnic institute. After two years it was excluded after disciplinary proceedings.

Johann Strauss jun., also called Johann Strauss the younger, learned violin and music theory for one year secretly with support of his mother. Then he received permission playing with an orchestra of 12 to 15 persons in restaurants. On October 15, 1844 Johann Strauss jun. had his first concert at Dommayers Casino in Hietzing / Vienna. His orchestra from now on played various events and his works were published by the publishing house Mechetti.

1845 Strauss the younger became leader of the second citizen regiment (his father was leader of the first citizen regiment).

1848, year of the revolution, Johann Strauss junior had his audience in revolutionary circles, this in opposite to his father. He wrote "Revolutionsmarsch" ("revolution march"), "Studenten-Marsch" ("student march"), "Ligourianerseufzer" and "Barrikadenlieder" ("barricade songs"). These works were forbidden, Strauss was denounced because of playing the Marseillaise. Even 1856 the court remembered this and application for the court musical director was turned down. The high aristocracy do not pardon him, also the imperial courd disavowed him.

1846 and 1847 Johann had concert tours to Hungary, Siebenbuergen and Walachei.

After his father's death on September 25, 1849 Johann Strauss junior took over his father's orchestra. To the funeral service he directed Mozart's Requiem.

Now he could play in large halls at carnival 1850. 1850 Johann Strauss jun. played in Warsaw, 1852 in Hamburg.

Monday Strauss played at Dommayer in Hietzing, tuesday and friday in park Volksgarten, thursday in Valentin's Bierhalle (beerhall), saturday in Englaenders Restauration in Waehring / Vienna and sunday in Casino Unger in Hernals / Vienna.

In honours of the wedding of emperor Franz Joseph II. with princess Elisabeth von Bayern (Sissi) Johann Strauss wrote the "Myrthenkraenze Walzer".

The publisher Haslinger assigned Johann Strauss with to write annually 5 to 8 waltzes, 3 to 5 quadrills, 3 to 5 polkas and 2 to 4 marches. Strauss not only regularly played long-term-engagements, but also concerts in the Prater, at Sperl, in the Redoutensaelen, the Sofiensaelen and at Schwenders Etablissement. Especially the winter season was very stressy. It was not unusual that Strauss directed the first pieces on one event and hurried then to another performance, where he directed the rest of the concert by replacing the subdirector. But Johann Strauss jun. collapsed in spring 1853. As Johann Struass jun. got sick again and again his brother Joseph took over the orchestra, who worked as a building technician in dispite of his musical talent.

Johann Strauss jun (Johann Strauss II.)Johann Strauss jun. recovered after cures in summer 1853 and 1854 and signed an concert performance contract for five months to the Russian yard in Pawlowsk, 30km outside of pc. Petersburg, after a meeting with the Russian Zarskoje Selo railway company 1854 in the year 1856. He played his concerts at the pavilion "Vauxhall" near the railway station building. The contract was extended again and again for the summer months and finally should last until 1865.

Johann Strauss often was represented by his two brothers Joseph and Eduard Strauss. This co-operation in letters often jokeful was called the "Company Strauss".

1857 the old fortifications of Vienna were removed, the Ringstrasse, a showpiece boulevard like a ring around the inner city of Vienna, was constructed in that place. The Ringstrasse was opened 1865 and Strauss wrote the "Demolition Polka" ("Demolirer Polka").

On August 27, 1862 Johann Strauss jun.married the singer Jetty Treffz (civil name Henriette Treffz Chalupetzky) in St.Stephan's cathedral, which unmerried already had seven children.

1863 Strauss got the job as k.k. court musical director, which he quit in 1870 (however he was allowed to keep the title). Now Strauss only played for elite balls and in the park k.k. Volksgarten. His two brothers Joseph and Eduard Strauss became leader of the orchestra and Strauss composed his most famous works, "Wiener Bonbons", "At the beautiful blue Danube" (Donauwalzer, 1867), "Stories from the Viennese forest" (1868), "To the Krapfenwaldl", "Wine, Woman and Singing" and many others.

1867 Strauss Strauss played at the world exhibition in Paris. Successfully he played in the Palais Garnier, today the Paris opera.

1868 Strauss composed his first operetta "Die lustigen Weiber von Wien" ("The merry women of Vienna"). From May to September 1869 Strauss played in Pawlowsk again. He composed the "Pizzicato Polka".

1870 the first ball of the Musikfreunde (society of the music friends) took place. Strauss played the Walzer "Freut euch des Lebens" (be happy with life) and from March regularly he played sunday-concerts in the Musikverein. In this year his mother Anna died.

1871 was the first performance of the operetta "Indigo and the 40 robbers" successfully in the Theater an der Wien. Strauss did not have too much experience with the more serious category, the critics were mixed. In the same year he made a journey to Baden-Baden. 1872 he made a journey to Boston / USA to the "World Peace Jubilee" with 16 concerts at the Colosseum before 30.000 listeners with an 800 men orchestra. His salary: 100,000 dollar, about 210,000 guldens. On June 29, 1872 the "Jubilee Waltz" was performed in occasion of the 100th birthday of the USA. After this he went to Baden-Baden again.

1873 the first performance of "Carneval in Rome" took place in Theater an der Wien. Strauss wrote the famous waltz "Wiener Blut" ("Viennese blood"). For the world exhibition he composed the waltz "Bei uns z'Haus", however he was not engaged for the world exhibition.

On April 4, 1874 Strauss had a big success with the operetta "Die Fledermaus" (the bat). Strauss traveled to Italy. Follow up works were not successful. "Cagliostro in Wien" (Cagliostro in Vienna) Theater an der Wien; and the revised version "Reine Indigo" Paris 1875.

Johann Strauss jun (Johann Strauss II.)1876 a Palais Strauss was constructed. In the same year Strauss travelled to Berlin and Leipzig. 1877 at Carl theatre the operetta "Prince Methusalem" was first performed. On a journey to Paris Strauss played on mask balls and a festival concert. A revised version of "The Bat" for the Paris audience titled "Le Tzigane" was performed. 1880 followed the operetta "Das Spitzentuch der Königin" ("the lace cloth of the queen") at Theater an der Wien.

"Der lustige Krieg" ("the funny war") in 1881 was a commercial success.

On April 8, 1878 his wife Jetty died by stroke of apoplexy and only seven weeks later, on Mai 28, 1878 Strauss merried a young singer named Ernestine Henriette Angelika Dittrich ("Lily") in the church Karlskirche. At Theater an der Wien the operetta "Blind Cow" was first performed. As Angelika 1882 had a loveaffair with the director of the Theater an der Wien, Franz Steiner, Strauss divorced on Dezember 9, 1882 and followed an invitation to Berlin and directed the premiere of "Eine Nacht in Venedig" ("One night in Venice") at Friedrich-Wilhelmstaedtisches Theater. The libretto initiated a theatre scandal.

1880 Strauss acquired a country house in Schoenau/Lower Austria. 1884 Strauss was honoured with the award of the Viennese Citizen Right.

On Oktober 24, 1885 the premiere of "The Gypsy Baron" in Theater an der Wien took place. This work attained world fame just like "The Bat". Johann and his 30 years younger friend Adele Deutsch went to Russia 1886. 1887 Strauss received the Citizen Right of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha and he merried Adele in the church Herzogliche Hofirche in Coburg. In the same year the premiere of "Simplicius" took place at Theater an der Wien.

After three years working on January 1, 1892 the premiere of the opera "Knight Pásmán" at Hofopernthater in Vienna took place and it was a flop.

Now Johann Strauss wrote four operettas, from which "Forest Master" (December 4, 1895, Theater an der Wien) is worth mentioning. The three others are "Princess Ninetta" (1893, Theater an der Wien), "Jabuka" (1894, Theater an der Wien), "Goddess of Ratio (1897, Theater an der Wien)

Johann Strauss junior1894 acquired Strauss a mansion in Bad Ischl and the operetta "The Bat" was first time played at court opera. On March 13, 1897 the operetta "Goddess of Ratio" was first performed. Because the libretto was obtruded on him Strauss dissociated himself from this work and stayed away from the premiere.

On June 3, 1899 Johann Strauss jun. died. His grave is located at the honour grave section at the Viennese cemetery Zentralfriedhof. He left cash, percentages of profits, securities, mobiles and on mortgage loaded real estates to the society of the music friends (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde). His wife and his daughter received a pension, his sisters Anna and Therese incomes from houses in the Mohsgasse.

In Carl theatre 1899 the pasticcio-operetta "Viennese blood" was performed, the music was arranged by Adolf Mueller, a work that goes back on an idea of Johann Strauss and is based on works of Johann Strauss jun., and 1901 the premiere of the ballett "Aschenbroedel" ("Cindarella"), finished by Josef Bayer, took place in the royal opera house in Berlin.

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