Strauss, Richard

BORN 11 Jun 1864, München, Bayern: Altheimer Eck - DIED 8 Sep 1949, Garmisch, Bayern (now: Garmisch-Partenkirchen)
BIRTH NAME Strauss, Richard Georg
GRAVE LOCATION Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bayern: Friedhof Garmisch, Friedhofstrasse 5

Son of Franz Joseph Strauss, a musician at the Court Orchestra in Munich and a daughter from the Pschorr family of brewers. He grew up in a conservative environment and was supported by Hans von Bülow in his early years. Bülow employed him as assistant conductor in Berlin, until he became conductor in Meiningen after Bülow resigned there.

As a young man Strauss had seen a repetition by Richard Wagner at Bayreuth and he felt a deep admiration for the composer and his work during his whole life. In 1889 he met Wagner's widow Cosima when he worked as a musical assistant for the Opera "Parsifal" at Bayreuth. His own opera "Guntram" was meant to honour the master, but it wasn't liked by Cosima and her circle.

In 1894 he married the singer Pauline de Ahna, who was disliked by most people they knew because of her rude manners. But it was a good marriage and her bad temper was always easily forgotten by Strauss. In 1897 they had a son, Franz.

In 1905 his opera "Salome", with a libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, was first performed in Dresden. It was an instant success and the royalties enabled the shrewd businessman Strauss to build a villa in Garmisch. His next success together with Hofmansthal was "Elektra" (1909) and in 1911 "Der Rosenkavelier" was equally well received although completely different in style. Apart from his opera's Strauss was well known for his impressive symphonic poems.

After the nazis came to power it seems that he believed genuinely that they would support German music. He shared their distaste of Jewish culture and although he was never politically involved with the Third Reich, he accepted the presidency of the Reichsmusikkammer (The State Office of Music). He was in contact with several nazis and happily accepted well paid assignments. It is possible that he also wanted to protect his daughter in law Alice, who was half Jewish. He lost his post as president after he had denounced the nazis in a letter to his Jewish librettist Stefan Zweig, who lived in Austria. Zweig had succeeded Hofmannshal, who had died in 1929 of a stroke two days after his son had committed suicide.

In 1942 Strauss moved to Vienna, where he had a house since his conducting engagement there in earlier years. In Vienna he was in close contact to Baldur von Schirach, the Gauleiter of Vienna. He was back in Garmisch when the Americans invade Germany. He was placed under the protection of the army, but after the war he was heavily criticized for his collaboration and he felt forced to move to Switzerland. He was an old man now and illnesses forced him to cure frequently.

He returned to Garmisch in 1949 where he died later that year. His ashes were kept at his villa Garmisch. After the death of his son in 1980 they were interred in the cemetery in Garmisch.

• Father: Strauss, Franz Joseph
• Wife: Strauss, Pauline (1894-1949, Marquartstein: Burgkirche St. Veit)

Related persons
• visited Bloch-Bauer, Adele
• worked for Bülow, Hans von
• was a friend of D'Albert, Eugen
• was criticized by Draeseke, Felix August Bernhard
• has a connection with Faßbender, Zdenka
• cooperated with Hofmannsthal, Hugo von
• had work performed by Hussa-Greve, Maria
• was painted by Liebermann, Max
• has a connection with Marie-Elisabeth, Prinzessin von Sachsen-Meiningen
• was a friend of Reznicek, Emil Nikolaus Freiherr von
• was a friend of Schillings, Max von
• was a friend of Thuille, Ludwig
• knew Wagner, Cosima
• had work performed by Welitsch, Ljuba

27/11/1896Premiere of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss  
21/11/1901Première of "Feuersnot" by Richard Strauss at the Hofoper in Dresden [Chavanne, Irene von]
9/12/1905Premiere of "Salome" by Richard Strauss in Dresden [Chavanne, Irene von]
16/5/1906Austrian premiere of "Salomé" by Richard Strauss in Graz. "Salome" had premiered shortly before in Dresden. The Austrian premiere took place in Graz because the censor in Vienna didn't approve. Jenny Korb sang the title part. Strauss himself conducted and Gustav and Alma Mahler were in the public. Puccini was also there. The performance was a huge succes. [Berg, Alban][Mahler, Alma][Mahler, Gustav][Puccini, Giacomo][Schönberg, Arnold][Zemlinsky, Alexander von]
5/12/1906"Salome" by Richard Strauss is first performed in Berlin. It was performed at the Hofoper. Emmy Destinn was Salome. Other parts were performed by Thila Plaichinger (Herodias) and Ernst Kraus (Herodes). [Destinn, Emmy]
25/1/1909Première of "Elektra" by Richard Strauss at the Hofoper in Dresden. The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Annie Krull was Elektra. Ernst von Schuch was the conductor. [Hofmannsthal, Hugo von]
26/1/1911Première of "Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss at the Hofoper in Dresden. Hugo von Hofmannsthal wrote the libretto and Margarethe Siems was Marschallin. Ernst von Schuch was the conductor. Eva von der Osten, Karl Scheidemantel, Karl Perron, Minnie Nast and Elisa Stünzner were among the singers. [Hofmannsthal, Hugo von][Osten, Eva von der][Scheidemantel, Karl]
25/10/1912Premiere at Stuttgart of "Ariadne auf Naxos" by Richard Strauss. The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Ariadne was performed by Maria Jeritza. Sigrid Onegin was Dryade. Erna Ellmenreich was Echo. [Hofmannsthal, Hugo von][Onegin, Sigrid]
4/10/1916Premiere of the revised version of "Ariadne auf Naxos" by Richard Strauss in Vienna. The libretto was by Hugo Hofmannsthal and Maria Jeritza performed the part of Ariadne. Selma Kurz was Zerbinetta. Franz Schalk was the conductor. [Hofmannsthal, Hugo von][Kurz, Selma]
10/10/1919Premiere of the opera "Die Frau ohne Schatten" by Richard Strauss in Vienna. The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Karl-Aagaard Oestvig and Maria Jeritza performed the parts of the emperor and the empress. [Hofmannsthal, Hugo von][Lehmann, Lotte][Mayr, Richard]
6/6/1928Premiere of the opera "Die ägyptische Helena" by Richard Strauss in Dresden. The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the part of Helena was performed by Elisabeth Rethberg. [Hofmannsthal, Hugo von]
1/7/1933Premiere of the opera "Arabella" by Richard Strauss in Dresden. The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the part of Arabella was performed by Viorica Ursuleac. [Hofmannsthal, Hugo von]
24/7/1938Premiere of the opera "Friedenstag" by Richard Strauss in Munich. The libretto was by Joseph Gregor and the conductor was Clemens Krauss. Viorica Ursuleac performed the part of Maria. 
15/10/1938Premiere of the opera "Daphne" by Richard Strauss at the Hofoper in Dresden. The libretto was by Joseph Gregor and Karl Böhm was the conductor. Helene Jung sang the part of Gaea. [Böhm, Karl]
28/10/1942Premiere of the opera "Cappricio" by Richard Strauss in München. The libretto was by Clemens Krauss and Strauss. Clemens Krauss was the conductor. Viorica Ursuleac was the countess and Hildegard Ranczak was Clairon. 


The grave of Richard Strauss at the Friedhof Garmisch, Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Picture by Androom (23 Aug 2007)


• Boyden, Matthew, Richard Strauss, Northeastern University Press, Boston, 1999
WDR Videotext, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Köln
Richard Strauss – Wikipedia
Arabella - Wikipedia
Feuersnot - Wikipedia

Stravinsky, Igor

Published: 02 Aug 2009
Last update: 07 May 2022