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Straus, Oscar

Straus, Oscar (b Vienna, 1870; d Bad Ischl, 1954). Austrian-born composer (Fr. cit. 1939). Cond. th. orchs. in Ger. 1893–9, his first opera being perf. in Bratislava 1894. Pianist 1900 for Wolzogen's Überbrettl in Berlin, for which he comp. many songs. Returned to Vienna 1904, composing operettas yearly and achieving major success in 1907 with Ein Walzertraum. In 1908 wrote Der tapfere Soldat, based on Shaw's Arms and the Man (1894). This was f.p. Vienna 1908, and in NY 1909 and London 1910 as The Chocolate Soldier. Many other operettas followed, but none had much success until Der letzte Walzer (The Last Waltz), Vienna 1920, comp. for Fritzi Massary, who sang in several of his works. Left Europe 1937, living in Paris until 1940 and Hollywood until settling in Bad Ischl 1948. His last success was with theme-tune for the film La Ronde, 1950. Also comp. 2 ballets, chamber mus., many film scores, and nearly 500 songs. Name spelt Strauss on birth certificate, but he deleted one of final ‘s’ to differentiate himself from other composers with the name.

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Straus, Oscar

Oscar Straus (ôs´kär shtrous), 1870–1954, Austrian composer; studied in Vienna and with Max Bruch in Berlin. After a brief career as conductor he turned entirely to composition. His operas and instrumental works are eclipsed by his successful operettas, particularly A Waltz Dream (1907) and The Chocolate Soldier (1908; based on G. B. Shaw's Arms and the Man). During the early 1930s Straus wrote scores for films in Hollywood. In 1939 he became a French citizen, and in 1940 he moved to the United States.

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