Oscar Straus (composer)

Oscar Straus (composer)
Oscar Straus, c. 1902

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,[1] 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.




Sheet of music of a Straus’ composition for the cabaret "Überbrettl"
  • 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
  • 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

Film Scores

Further reading

  • 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.


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oscar Straus — may refer to: Oscar Straus (composer) (1870–1954), Viennese composer of operettas Oscar Straus (politician) (1850–1936), United States Secretary of Commerce and Labor from 1906 to 1909 This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the… …   Wikipedia

  • Oscar Straus (politician) — This article is about the United States ambassador and politician. For the music composer, see Oscar Straus (composer). Oscar Solomon Straus 3rd US Secretary of Commerce and Labor …   Wikipedia

  • STRAUS, OSCAR — (1870–1954), composer. Born and educated in Vienna, Straus also studied in Berlin with Max Bruch. In 1901, after conducting various theater orchestras in Austria and Germany, he became conductor at the satirical cabaret Ueberbrettl in Berlin.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Straus — [strous;shtrous] Oscar ( or Oskar) 1870 1954; Fr. composer, born in Austria …   English World dictionary

  • Straus — /strows/; Ger. /shtrddows/, n. 1. Isidor, 1845 1912, U.S. retail merchant and politician, born in Bavaria: congressman 1894 95 (brother of Nathan and Oscar Solomon Straus). 2. Nathan, 1848 1931, U.S. retail merchant, born in Bavaria. 3. Oscar /os …   Universalium

  • Straus — /strows/; Ger. /shtrddows/, n. 1. Isidor, 1845 1912, U.S. retail merchant and politician, born in Bavaria: congressman 1894 95 (brother of Nathan and Oscar Solomon Straus). 2. Nathan, 1848 1931, U.S. retail merchant, born in Bavaria. 3. Oscar /os …   Useful english dictionary

  • Straus, Oscar — ▪ Austrian composer born March 6, 1870, Vienna, Austria died Jan. 11, 1954, Bad Ischl       Austrian composer known for his operetta The Chocolate Soldier.       Straus studied in Vienna and with Max Bruch in Berlin and became a theatre conductor …   Universalium

  • Straus, Oscar — (1870–1954)    Austrian composer. Straus was a composer and conductor in his native Vienna and in Berlin, producing a series of tuneful and popular operettas, such as Dream Waltz (1907) and The Chocolate Soldier (1908). He also wrote the music… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Straus — biographical name Oscar 1870 1954 French (Austrian born) composer …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Straus — [[t]straʊs, ʃtraʊs[/t]] n. big Oscar, 1870–1954, French composer …   From formal English to slang

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