Josef Strauss

Josef Strauss (20 August 1827 – 22 July 1870) was an Austrian composer.

He was born in Mariahilf (now Vienna), the son of Johann Strauss I and Maria Anna Streim, and brother of Johann Strauss II and Eduard Strauss. His father wanted him to choose a career in the Austrian Habsburg military. He studied music with Franz Dolleschal and learned to play the violin with Franz Anton Ries.

He received training as an engineer, and worked for the city of Vienna as an engineer and designer. He designed a horse-drawn revolving brush street-sweeping vehicle and published two textbooks on mathematical subjects.[1] Strauss had talents as an artist, painter, poet, dramatist, singer, composer and inventor.[2]

Family orchestra

He joined the family orchestra, along with his brothers, Johann Strauss II and Eduard Strauss[3] in the 1850s. His first published work was called "Die Ersten und Letzten" (The First and the Last). When Johann became seriously ill in 1853 Josef led the orchestra for a while. The waltz-loving Viennese were appreciative of his early compositions so he decided to continue in the family tradition of composing dance music. He was known as 'Pepi' by his family and close friends, and Johann once said of him: "Pepi is the more gifted of us two; I am merely the more popular..."[1]

Family life

Josef Strauss married Caroline Pruckmayer at the church of St. Johann Nepomuk in Vienna on 8 June 1857 and had one daughter, Karolina Anna, who was born on 27 March 1858.


Josef Strauss wrote 283 opus numbers. He wrote many waltzes, including: Sphären-Klänge (Music of the Spheres), Delirien (Deliriums), Transaktionen (Transactions), Mein Lebenslauf ist Lieb' und Lust (My Character is Love and Joy), and Dorfschwalben aus Österreich (Village Swallows from Austria), polkas, most famously the Pizzicato Polka [It] with his brother Johann, quadrilles, and other dance music, and also some marches. The waltz The Mysterious Powers of Magnetism (Dynamiden) with the use of minor keys showed a quality that distinguished his waltzes from those of his more popular elder brother.[4] The polka-mazurka shows influence by Strauss, where he wrote many examples like Die Emancipierte and Die Libelle.


Josef Strauss was sick most of his life. He was prone to fainting spells and intense headaches.[5] During a tour in 1870, he fell unconscious from the conductor's podium in Warsaw while conducting his 'Musical Potpourri', striking his head. His wife brought him back home to Vienna, to the Hirschenhaus, where he died on 22 July of that year. A final diagnosis cited only decomposed blood. There were rumors that he had been beaten by drunken Russian soldiers after allegedly refusing to perform for them one night. A specific cause of death was not determined, since his widow forbade any autopsy.[citation needed] Originally buried in the St. Marx Cemetery, Strauss was later exhumed and reburied in the Vienna Central Cemetery, alongside his mother Anna.[citation needed]

Works of Josef Strauss

The works of Josef Strauss include:[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Johann Strauss Society: Josef Strauss". Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  2. ^ Talents Archived 2011-09-30 at the Wayback Machine -Retrieved 2011-02-19
  3. ^ Josef Strauss
  4. ^ "Program Notes". Archived from the original on 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
  5. ^ Strauss
  6. ^ Josef Strauss works Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine