born on 6/3/1870 in Wien, Austria
died on 11/1/1954 in Bad Ischl, Oberösterreich, Austria
Oscar Straus (composer)
Oscar Nathan Straus (6 March 1870 11 January 1954) was a Viennese composer of operettas and film scores and songs. He also wrote about 500 cabaret songs, chamber music, and orchestral and choral works. His original name was actually Strauss, but for professional purposes he deliberately omitted the final 's', since he wished not to be associated with the musical Strauss family of Vienna. However, he did follow the advice of Johann Strauss II in 1898 about abandoning the prospective lure of writing waltzes for the more lucrative business of writing for the theatre.
He studied music in Berlin under Max Bruch, and became an orchestral conductor, working at the Überbrettl cabaret. He went back to Vienna and began writing operettas, becoming a serious rival to Franz Lehár. When Lehár's popular The Merry Widow premiered in 1905, Straus was said to have remarked "Das kann ich auch!" (I can also do that!). In 1939, following the Nazi Anschluss, he fled to Paris, where he received the honour of a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, and then to Hollywood. After the war, he returned to Europe, and settled at Bad Ischl, where he died.
Straus' best-known works are Ein Walzertraum (A Waltz Dream), and The Chocolate Soldier (Der tapfere Soldat). The waltz arrangement from the former is probably his most enduring orchestral work. Among his most famous songs is the theme song from the 1950 film La Ronde.
- Die lustigen Nibelungen (The Merry Nibelungs) 1904
- Zur indischen Witwe 1905
- Hugdietrichs Brautfahrt (Hugdietrich's Honeymoon) 1906
- Ein Walzertraum (A Waltz Dream) 1907
- Der tapfere Soldat (The Gallant Soldier, The Chocolate Soldier) 1908
- Didi 1908
- Das Tal der Liebe 1909
- Mein junger Herr (My Son John) 1910
- Die kleine Freundin (My Little Friend) 1911
- Der tapfere Cassian (The Brave Cassian) 1912
- The Dancing Viennese 1912
- Love and Laughter 1913
- Rund um die Liebe 1914
- Liebeszauber 1916
- Der letzte Walzer 1920
- Die Perlen der Cleopatra 1923
- Die Teresina 1925
- Marietta - [1927 in French, 1928 in German]
- Die Musik kommt 1928
- Eine Frau, die weiß, was sie will 1932
- Drei Walzer 1935
- Ihr erster Walzer (revised version, Die Musik kommt) 1950
- Bozena 1952
- Colombine 1904
- Die Prinzessin von Tragant 1912
- A Lady's Morals 1930
- Danube Love Song 1931 (never released due to backlash against musicals)
- The Smiling Lieutenant 1931
- The Southerner 1932
- One Hour with You 1932
- Die Herren von Maxim 1933
- Frühlingsstimmen 1934
- Land Without Music 1935
- Make a Wish 1935
- Sarajevo - 1940
- La Ronde 1950
- Grun, Bernard: Prince of Vienna: the Life, Times and Melodies of Oscar Straus (London, 1955).
- Gänzl, Kurt. The Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre (3 Volumes). New York: Schirmer Books, 2001.
- Traubner, Richard. Operetta: A Theatrical History. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1983.
- Catalogue entry at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German). German National Library. Retrieved on 26 June 2008.
- List of Straus's stage works, with information and links
- Oscar Straus at the Internet Movie Database
- Free scores by Oscar Straus in the International Music Score Library Project