Johann Strauss 1

Johann Strauss was born in Vienna on 14 March 1804. His parents both died at an early age and his guardian placed him as an apprentice to a bookbinder. At that time he started music lessons on violin and viola. He completed the apprenticeship but soon after found a place in a local orchestra. Later he was to join a string quartet playing mostly viennese waltzes and German dance music. In time the quartet expanded into a small orchestra and he became deputy conductor. The orchestra was so successful that they formed a second one, and Strauss became conductor of the new one. It was a natural step then to start writing music - mostly dance music. The rest as they say is history.

It is well known that he would not allow his sons to look to music for a career, and it was probably more in spite of him that his son Johann was to become one of the most financially successful musicians of all time. Johann the Father died of scarlet fever on 25 September 1849.

Johann 1, as he later became known, composed his famous march "Radetsky" in admiration for the great military leader of the time. Radetsky was Czech born and was to serve in the Austrian military for over 70 years, until his death at age 91.