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Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss

Country of origin: Germany
Birthday: June 11, 1864
Date of death: September 8, 1949

Upcoming Performances

Der Rosenkavalier
Der Rosenkavalier
September 1, 2022 | Bad Orb (Germany) , Konzerthalle
Der Rosenkavalier
Der Rosenkavalier
September 3, 2022 | Bad Orb (Germany) , Konzerthalle

About Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss was born in Munich on 11 June 1864. As son of the principal horn player at the Munich Court Theatre, he came in touch with music at an early age, having piano, violin and music theory lessons from his father’s colleagues in the court orchestra. In 1870 Strauss wrote his first compositions and during secondary schooling songs, sonatas, chamber music and an orchestral serenade.

From 1882 to 1883 he studied philosophy, aesthetics and art history at the University of Munich, and in 1883 went to Berlin for three months to gather numerous impressions at theatres and in concerts and to play chamber music. In 1884 he made his debut as a conductor with his ’Suite for Wind Op. 4’. Upon invitation of Hans von Bülow, he was appointed music director of the Meiningen Court Orchestra in 1885. In quick succession, until the turn of the century, Strauss took up several posts as conductor and musical director in Munich, Weimar and Berlin. Very early, he committed himself to works by contemporary composers, and in 1903 co-founded the German Composers’ Cooperative (Genossenschaft deutscher Tonsetzer), thus advocating successfully the improvement of the social situation of composers.

From 1908 he was ’Generalmusikdirektor’ in Berlin, and from 1917 to 1920 held a professorship in composition at the Berlin Academy of the Arts. From 1919 to 1924 he was joint conductor with Franz Schalk at the Vienna State Opera. Performances as guest conductor with major orchestras and song recitals with his wife, the singer Pauline de Ahna, led him through many European countries and to America. In 1922 he conducted at the Salzburg Festival which he had co-founded. From 1925 Strauss lived alternately in Vienna and Garmisch as a freelance composer and conductor. In 1933 he was proclaimed president of the State Music Bureau (Reichsmusikkammer) but resigned his presidency in 1935 because he feared to get in serious political trouble after a letter to the Jewish writer and librettist Stefan Zweig had been intercepted by the Gestapo.

After the end of the war, Strauss moved to Switzerland, but returned to Garmisch in 1949 where he died the same year.

Richard Strauss is one of the great German musicians towards the end of the Classical Romantic epoch the music of which reflects the ’joie de vivre’ of his contemporaries which is characterized by emotionalism, self-awareness and modernism.

 

In his orchestral works he gives images and ideas of his literary or philosophical models musical form, using different colours and nuances. His style is characterized by exciting tonal zest, extremely sharp dissonances and drama. In Strauss’ operas, such as in Elektra (1908), Der Rosenkavalier (1909/10) and Arabella (1932), special emphasis is given to the expressive element. Important to the dramatic form of these works for the stage was Strauss’ long and intensive collaboration with Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Another focus of his œuvre is the creation of lieder which made Strauss, apart from Hugo Wolf and Hans Pfitzner, the finisher of the late Romantic art song.

Worklist

Chronology

1864
Born in Munich on 11 June
1868-82
Receives piano tuition, from 1872 also learns the violin
1875-80
Lessons in music theory, composition and instrumentation with the court musical director Friedrich Wilhelm Meyer
1881
The "Festive March" for large orchestra composed in 1876 is published by J. Aibl as the first work by Strauss to appear in print.
1881
Hermann Levi conducts the first performance of the "Symphony in D minor" in Munich.
1882
Two semesters of studies in philosophy, aesthetics and the history of art at the University of Munich
1882
First visit to Bayreuth ("Parsifal")
1884
Makes acquaintance with Hans von Bülow
1884
First public appearance as conductor ("Suite for 13 wind instruments op. 4") in Munich with the Meiningen Court Orchestra
1884
First performance of "Symphony No. 2 in F minor" in New York (Philharmonic Society)
1885-86
Musical Director in Meiningen (thanks to the efforts of Hans von Bülow)
1886
First journey to Italy and Switzerland
1886-89
Third Kapellmeister alongside Hermann Levi and Franz von Fischer at the Munich Court Opera House
1886-89
Composition of numerous lieder and the first symphonic poem "Don Juan"
1889
Musical assistance in "Parsifal" at Bayreuth
1889-94
Kapellmeister at the Court Theatre in Weimar
1892-93
Six-month vacation travelling through Greece and Egypt
1894
First appearance as conductor in Bayreuth ("Tannhäuser"). Temporary direction of concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic following the death of von Bülow
1894
Marriage to the singer Pauline de Ahna
1894
First performance of his first opera "Guntram" in Weimar
1894-98
Return to Munich. Initially second Kapellmeister to Hermann Levi, then Kapellmeister of the Court Opera House from October 1896
1895
First performance of "Till Eulenspiegel" in Cologne
1896
First performance of "Also sprach Zarathustra" in Frankfurt
1897
Birth of his son Franz
1898
First performance of "Don Quixote" in Cologne
1898
Appointment as "Erster Königlich Preußischer Hofkapellmeister" in Berlin
1899
First performance of "Ein Heldenleben" in Frankfurt
1900
First encounter with Hugo von Hofmannsthal in Paris
1901
Generalmusikdirektor of the Berlin Tonkünstler Orchestra (until 1903)
1901
President of the "German General Music Association" [Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein] (until 1909)
1901
First performance of his second opera "Feuersnot" in Dresden
1903
Foundation of the "Cooperative of German Composers" [Genossenschaft deutscher Tonsetzer] in cooperation with Friedrich Rösch and Hans Sommer
1904
First journey to USA. First performance of the "Symphonia domestica" in the Carnegie Hall, New York
1905
Death of his father
1905
First performance of "Salome" in Dresden
1908
Generalmusikdirektor of the Berliner Court Opera House (until 1910, then guest contract until 1918) and director of concerts given by the Berlin Court Orchestra
1908
Moves into specially built country house in Garmisch
1909
First performance of "Elektra" in Dresden
1909
Member of the Berliner Akademie der Künste
1910
Death of his mother
1911
First performance of "Der Rosenkavalier" in Dresden
1912
First performance of "Ariadne auf Naxos" in Stuttgart
1914
First performance of "Josephs Legende" in Paris (Ballets Russes, Diaghilev)
1914
50th birthday: international honours (incl. honorary citizen of Munich and Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oxford)
1915
First performance of "Alpensinfonie" in Berlin, Strauss’s last symphonic poem
1915
Foundation of "Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights" [Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte, GEMA]
1916
First performance of the revised version of "Ariadne auf Naxos" in Vienna
1917
Foundation of the Salzburg Festival association "Salzburger Festspielhaus-Gemeinde". One year later, Strauss is elected as a member of its artistic council [Kunstrat].
1918
First performance of "Der Bürger als Edelmann" in Berlin
1918
Withdrawal from the Berlin Opera House
1919
First performance of "Die Frau ohne Schatten" in Vienna
1919
From December, joint Director of Vienna State Opera with Franz Schalk (until 1924)
1923
Honorary member of Vienna Philharmonic and the Salzburg
1924
First performance of the ballet "Schlagobers" in Vienna (during the Viennese Strauss Festival in celebration of the composer’s 60th birthday)
1924
First performance of the comedy "Intermezzo" in Dresden
since 1925
Establishes himself as freelance composer and conductor based in Vienna and Garmisch.
1928
First performance of "Die Ägyptische Helena" in Dresden
1931
Makes acquaintance with Stefan Zweig
1933
Uraufführung von "Arabella" in Dresden
1933
Appointed as President of the Reich Chamber of Music [Reichsmusikkammer]
1935
First performance of "Die schweigsame Frau" in Dresden. Due to his critical comments on National Socialism and the Jewish ancestry of the librettist Stefan Zweig, no further performances of the opera take place in Germany. Strauss is forced to resign as President of the Reichsmusikkammer.
1936
Conducts the "Olympic Hymn", a work commissioned by the Olympic Committee, at the opening of the XI Olympic Games in Berlin.
1938
First performance of "Friedenstag" in Munich
1938
First performance of "Daphne" in Dresden
1940
First performance of the new version of "Guntram" in Weimar
1940
First performance of "Japanische Festmusik" in Tokyo, a work commissioned in celebration of the 2600th anniversary of the Japanese Empire
1942
First performance of "Capriccio" in Munich
1943
First performance of "Horn Concerto No. 2" at the Salzburg Festival
1944
The planned première of "Die Liebe der Danae" at the Salzburg Festival is cancelled (forced closure of theatres [‘Theatersperre’]).
1945
Experiences the end of the war in Garmisch. Composition of "Metamorphosen" and the commemorative waltz "München"
1945
Strauss’s villa in Garmisch is requisitioned by the American occupying forces. Strauss relocates to Switzerland.
1947
Concert tour in England. Strauss Festival in London
1947
Strauss is primarily resident in Montreux up to May 1949.
1948
Composition of the "Vier letzte Lieder"
1948
Process of denazification: Strauss exonerated as "innocent of any ties".
1949
Returns to Garmisch in May
1949
85th birthday: honours and performances
1949
Strauss dies in Garmisch on 8 September.

Products

Performances

Set Descending Direction
  • Der Rosenkavalier
    Der Rosenkavalier
    September 1, 2022 | Bad Orb (Germany) , Konzerthalle
  • Der Rosenkavalier
    Der Rosenkavalier
    September 3, 2022 | Bad Orb (Germany) , Konzerthalle
  • Sechs Lieder
    Sechs Lieder
    Conductor: Marcus Bosch
    Orchestra: Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock
    September 11, 2022 | Rostock (Germany) , Halle 207
  • Sechs Lieder
    Sechs Lieder
    Conductor: Marcus Bosch
    Orchestra: Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock
    September 12, 2022 | Rostock (Germany) , Halle 207
  • Sechs Lieder
    Sechs Lieder
    Conductor: Marcus Bosch
    Orchestra: Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock
    September 13, 2022 | Rostock (Germany) , Halle 207
  • Ruhe, meine Seele
    Ruhe, meine Seele
    Conductor: Kachun Wong
    Orchestra: Phion, Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel
    September 23, 2022 | Enschede (Netherlands) , Muziekcentrum
  • Ruhe, meine Seele
    Ruhe, meine Seele
    Conductor: Kachun Wong
    Orchestra: Phion, Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel
    September 27, 2022 | Zwolle (Netherlands) , De Spiegel
  • Ruhe, meine Seele
    Ruhe, meine Seele
    Conductor: Kachun Wong
    Orchestra: Phion, Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel
    September 30, 2022 | Apeldoorn (Netherlands) , Orpheus
  • Ruhe, meine Seele
    Ruhe, meine Seele
    Conductor: Kachun Wong
    Orchestra: Phion, Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel
    October 1, 2022 | Arnhem (Netherlands) , Musis
  • Ruhe, meine Seele
    Ruhe, meine Seele
    Conductor: Kachun Wong
    Orchestra: Phion, Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel
    October 2, 2022 | Nijmegen (Netherlands) , De Vereeniging
  • Elektra
    Elektra
    Conductor: Alexander Prior
    October 8, 2022 | Erfurt (Germany) , Theater, Großes Haus — Premiere
  • Elektra
    Elektra
    Conductor: Alexander Prior
    October 16, 2022 | Erfurt (Germany) , Theater, Großes Haus
  • Elektra
    Elektra
    Conductor: Alexander Prior
    October 21, 2022 | Erfurt (Germany) , Theater, Großes Haus
  • Elektra
    Elektra
    Conductor: Alexander Prior
    October 26, 2022 | Erfurt (Germany) , Theater, Großes Haus
  • Elektra
    Elektra
    Conductor: Alexander Prior
    October 30, 2022 | Erfurt (Germany) , Theater, Großes Haus
  • Ein Heldenleben
    Ein Heldenleben
    Conductor: Robin Ticciati
    Orchestra: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    December 18, 2022 | Berlin (Germany) , Philharmonie Berlin
  • Ein Heldenleben
    Ein Heldenleben
    Conductor: Robin Ticciati
    Orchestra: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    December 19, 2022 | Berlin (Germany) , Philharmonie Berlin
  • Salome
    Salome
    Conductor: Axel Kober
    January 22, 2023 | Berlin (Germany) , Deutsche Oper — Resumption
  • Elektra
    Elektra
    Conductor: Kent Nagano
    January 24, 2023 | Hamburg (Germany) , Staatsoper — Resumption
  • Elektra
    Elektra
    Conductor: Kent Nagano
    January 26, 2023 | Hamburg (Germany) , Staatsoper
  • Set Descending Direction
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