Strauss, Richard (opera) (Georg )
- David Murray
(b Munich, 11 June 1864; d Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 8 Sept 1949). German composer, the leading figure in German opera in the first half of the 20th century.
Despite his operatic penchant for waltzes, Richard Strauss was no kin to the old Viennese waltz firm of Josef and the two Johanns. In fact he owed his surname to a decent gesture by his Bavarian grandfather Urban Strauss, who had permitted his illegitimate children – Richard’s father Franz and a sister – to bear his name, but chose a different wife. Franz proved to be a fine natural musician, like his maternal uncles and younger stepbrothers, and he rose to become one of Germany’s leading horn players: 42 years in the Munich court orchestra, and regularly summoned by Wagner to play first horn at Bayreuth (though Franz disapproved of both the man and his music). At 31 he had lost his first wife and family to the cholera epidemic of ...