„Who wants to be a real musician, must be able to compose a menu.“
In 2014 Germany celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Georg Strauss. Strauss is renowned as a child prodigy, revolutionary, late Romantic and above all one of the most outstanding composers of his time.
Richard Strauss, a great musician
||Born on the 11th of June 1864 in Munich, Strauss grows up in a musical family and composes his first pieces at the age of six.
||As a 12 year old Strauss composes a festive march for a large orchestra.
||He starts studying philosophy and history of art in Munich. To concentrate on music he drops out of university.
||He undertakes a creative journey to Dresden and Berlin.
||Strauss becomes musical director in Meiningen. During the next year he works as the Third Conductor in Munich.
||Strauss assists at the Bayreuth Festival and becomes Second Conductor in Weimar.
||He travels to Egypt.
||He conducts Tannhäuser of Wagner at the Bayreuth Festival. Besides he becomes engaged to Pauline de Ahna, returns to Munich as First Conductor and conducts the Berlin Philharmonic.
||Strauss moves to Berlin and works as First Royal Prussian Court Chapel Master.
||The Strauss family moves into the house in Garmisch.
||The first Strauss Festival takes place in Munich, Dresden and Vienna are following.
||Strauss joins director of the Vienna State Opera together with Franz Schalk.
||He is appointed President of the Reichsmusikkammer (State Music Institute) during the Nazi period.
||Strauss lives partly in Switzerland and partly in Garmisch-Partenkirchen after the war.
||On the 8th of September 1949 Strauss dies in Garmisch.|
Click here for tracing the path of Richard Strauss throughout Germany and get to know different places and cities where he used to live and/or work.
Get to know Strauss better - About Egypt, GEMA and chocolate
Strauss's hard work had its price. A protracted pneumonia led to the collapse of the artist in 1892. To recreate and to draw strength, he travelled to Egypt. Moreover, he gained new impressions and ideas. The journey was followed by the creation of his first opera Guntram.
Besides Dresden, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Munich and Bayreuth, Richard Strauss was also Honorary Citizen of the cities Vienna and Salzburg.
Strauss discovers the Viennese Hugo von Hofmannsthal as his writer. Out of the collaboration arises Strauss’s commitment as director of the Vienna Opera from 1919 to 1924.
Strauss reached the enforcement of the copyright law in the German National Diet (Reichstag) in 1901. GEMA (society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights) today owes its existence to Strauss and its Association of German Composers.
According to tradition, Chocolate was one of the favorite sweets of the composer. To balance out work Strauss had a somewhat surprising hobby: He enjoyed playing Skat.
Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss
Strauss's father, Franz Joseph Strauss was not shy of making negative comments about Wagner, speaking of "poison" when the composer came up in conversation. The first horn player even remained seated when the rest of the Munich Court Orchestra rose to its feet to mark Wagner’s passing. His son Richard nevertheless developed a keen taste for the "poison" his father so disliked, and this can be heard in his early work. The young Strauss met Wagner at a performance of Parsifal in Bayreuth in 1882 — a treat begrudgingly given to him by his father in recognition of his good school grades. It was on the advice of his friends and fellow Wagner enthusiasts Alexander Ritter and Hans von Bülow that Strauss took a position as musical assistant at the Wagner-founded Bayreuth Festival in 1889. He went on to conduct Tannhaeuser there in 1894.
One option is to book a group tour to Dresden. You can also opt for one of our city combination tours or offer your music-loving group a tour offering insights into the life and work of both Wagner and Strauss.
Richard Strauss © AugustusTours
Portrait of Richard Wagner © TV Franken