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Oscar Straus

1870 - 1954

The composer Oscar Straus was born as Oscar Nathan Strauss. Because the name Strauss was connected with a famous composer family to which he had no relation he left out the second S in his family name.

He got a musical education by Max Bruch before he worked as a bandmaster in Brüx and Teplitz-Schönau.

He wrote first works as a composer for the cabaret "Überbrettl", beside it he also wrote chamber music and other songs.

Thank to his experiences at the cabaret he developed his interest in light music and he dedicated to the operetta. He composed first operettas like "Die lustigen Niebelungen" (04) and "Hugdietrichs Brautfahrt" (06) before he had a world wide success with "Ein Walzertraum" (07).

Later followed other operettas like "Der tapfere Soldat" (08), "Rund um die Liebe" (14), "Niobe" (17),  "Der letzte Walzer" (20), "Die Perlen der Cleopatra" (23), "Die Teresina" (25), "Die Königin" (27), "Marietta" (28), "Der Bauerngeneral" (31), "Eine Frau, die weiss, was sie will" (32), "Drei Walzer" (35), "Die Musik kommt" (48), "Ihr erster Walzer" (50) and "Bozena" (52).

He went from Austria to Germany in the 20s where he soon wrote the music for some movies as well, among them the filming of his operetta "Ein Walzertraum" (31) as well as the productions "Der lächelnde Leutnant" (31), "Die Herren vom Maxim" (33), "Frühlingsstimmen" (33) and "Eine Frau, die weiss, was sie will" (34) which also based on one of his operettas.

With the rise of the National Socialists he went back to Austria, later to France and finally he emigrated to the USA. There is also composed for the Broadway and some Hollywood pictures.
During his travel through Europe he was able to write the music for some movies again, among them "Land Without Music" (36), "Make a Wish" (37), "De Mayerling à Sarajewo" (40) and "Moulin Rouge" (40).

He returned to Austria after the war. In the next years he wrote the film music for the German movie "Einmal keine Sorgen haben" (53) but also for two movies directed by Ophuls with "La ronde" (50) and "Madame de..." (53).

Oscar Straus was married with the musician Nelly Irmen and the singer Clara Singer. His son Leo Straus from the first marriage became an author. The composer Erwin Straus and the writer Walter Straus resulted from his second marriage.

Foto rechts von Ludwig Gutmann (1869-1943)