- Peter Kemp
Member of Strauss family
(b Vienna, March 14, 1804; d Vienna, Sept 25, 1849). Composer, conductor and violinist. His grandfather, Johann Michael (c1720–1800), left his Hungarian native town of Buda around 1750 as manservant to a field-marshal-lieutenant, travelling with him to Vienna, seat of the Habsburg monarchy. Johann Michael remained there as a ‘journeyman upholsterer’, where he converted from Judaism to Catholicism and married. He died from consumption in a poorhouse in 1800. The second of his four children, Franz Borgias (1764–1816), worked as an itinerant waiter before becoming tenant of a small tavern and dwelling within the house ‘Zum heiligen Florian’ at Flossgasse 7, a back street in the suburb of Leopoldstadt. It was here that Johann Strauss was born and first became fascinated by the music of the wandering tavern musicians who worked along the Danube. After the deaths of his mother (...