Strauss, Richard

   conductor and composer; his colorful orchestration and expressive power made him Germany's most celebrated com-poser from 1900 until his death. He was born to affluent circumstances in Mu-nich; his father was a well-known horn player, while his mother was a scion of the Pschorr brewing family. Composing by age six, he took piano and violin lessons, studied theory and composition with Friedrich Wilhelm Meyer, and then attended the University of Munich in 1882-1883. He was engaged as Meinin-gen's music* director in 1885 and became conductor of the Munich Court Or-chestra in 1894. Renowned for his virtuosity as both pianist and conductor, he was engaged in 1898 by Berlin's Court Opera on Unter den Linden; during 1908-1919 he also conducted the Berlin Court Orchestra. After five years of directing (with Franz Schalk) Vienna's State Opera, he worked from 1924 only as a guest conductor and composer. In 1924 he became honorary director of the Salzburg Festival.
   An early devotee of Brahms, Strauss eventually fell under Wagner's influence; a musical revolutionary, if a late romantic, his greatest creativity occurred before World War I. His tone poems Don Juan (1889), Till Eulenspiegel (1895), Also sprach Zarathustra (1896), and Don Quixote (1898), while stirring controversy in the Kaiserreich, became part of the Republic's orchestral repertoire. He was also a prolific songwriter. His operas incorporate Wagner's principles of musical drama. Salome (1905), based on Oscar Wilde's version of the biblical story, was banned after performances in New York and Chicago. Elektra (1909), his first opera to use a libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, launched a partnership that ended in 1929 with the author's death; by then the two men had produced six operas. Der Rosenkavalier (1911), whose waltzes evoke old Vienna, was the most quickly accepted work in his repertoire. Despite an early interest in modern music (he corresponded with Arnold Schoenberg*), Strauss resolved that his music should be understood and abandoned efforts to fathom atonality in 1912. By the 1920s his "neoclassical" compositions (such as Intermezzo and Die ägyptische Helena), incorporating both baroque and classical elements, clearly diverged from the music of Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Ferruccio Busoni.*
   With Friedrich Rosch and Hans Sommer, Strauss had founded the Genossen-schaft deutscher Tonsetzer (Cooperative of German Composers) in 1898; it was the first organization aimed at providing security (e.g., copyright protection) for creative musicians. In November 1933 the NSDAP named him president of the Reichsmusikkammer. Neither Nazi nor anti-Nazi, he sparked controversy with his 1935 premiere of Die schweigsame Frau, an opera based on a libretto by Stefan Zweig, a Jew. The episode induced his resignation from the Reichsmu-sikkammer, after which he led a strictly private existence. He wrote until his death; his final compositions included The Four Last Songs.
   REFERENCES:Del Mar, Richard Strauss; Gilliam, Richard Strauss and His World; Krause, Richard Strauss; Marek, Richard Strauss.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • Strauss,Richard — Strauss (strous, shtrous), Richard. 1864 1949. German composer known chiefly for his symphonic poems, such as Don Quixote (1897), and his operas, including Salome (1905). * * * …   Universalium

  • Strauss, Richard — ▪ German composer Introduction in full  Richard Georg Strauss  born June 11, 1864, Munich, Ger. died Sept. 8, 1949, Garmisch Partenkirchen  an outstanding German Romantic composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His symphonic poems of… …   Universalium

  • Strauss, Richard — (1864–1949)    The German composer of tone poems and operas Richard Strauss was born in Munich on June 11, 1869. He was first known as a conductor in the concert hall and then as a composer of several symphonic poems, such as Don Juan (1889), and …   The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick

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  • Strauss, Richard (Georg) — born June 11, 1864, Munich, Ger. died Sept. 8, 1949, Garmisch Partenkirchen German composer and conductor. Son of a horn player, he began composing at age six. Before he was 20, he had already had major premieres of two symphonies and a violin… …   Universalium

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  • Richard Strauss — Richard Georg Strauss (* 11. Juni 1864 in München; † 8. September 1949 in Garmisch Partenkirchen) war ein deutscher Komponist des späten 19. und des 20. Jahrhunderts, der vor allem für seine orchestrale Programmmusik (Tondichtungen), sein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Richard Strauss — Richard Georg Strauss (11 June 1864 ndash; 8 September 1949) was a German composer of the late Romantic era and early modern era, particularly noted for his operas and tone poems – the most famous being Also sprach Zarathustra (the opening… …   Wikipedia

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