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Richard Strauss was born June 11 1864 in Munich Germany The German composer-conductor is best known for his operas and tone poems His father was Franz Strauss one of Germanys leading horn players Strausss musical career began at the age of 4 when he learned how to play the piano By the age of 6 he was composing and by the age of 11 he was studying theory and composition 5 par 1870 At the age of 20 he made his conducting debut in Munich This led him to the Meiningen Court Orchestra After a month there he was in charge In 1886 Strauss became third conductor at the Munich Opera A second conductorship at Weimar enabled him to astonish the world with the performance of his tone poem Don Juan 18883 46 His first opera Guntram was performed at Weimar in 1894 During rehearsal for this opera Strauss began a relationship with the lead soprano Pauline de Ahna After she threw a tantrum one-day Strauss announced that they were to be married That autumn he became the court conductor of the Munich Opera Here he wrote the tone poems Till Eulenspiegel 1895 Als Sprach Zarathustra 1896 based upon Nietzsches book of the same name Don Quixote 1897 and Ein Heldenlieben 18981 39-51 From 1900 till 1911 Strauss concentrated primarily on operas The more advanced Salome 1905 and the powerful Elektra 1909 followed the cynical Feuersnot of 1901 3 47 His crowning achievement Der Rosenkavalier 1911 brought him fame and fortune Strauss later became co-director of the Vienna Opera where he set Die schweigsame Frau 1931 to a libretto by Stefan Zweig 5 par 1935 Which was subsequently banned by the Nazis in 1935 after two performances because Zweig was Jewish Strauss became involved in political conflict and his music was banned for a year because his daughter-in-law and grandsons were of Jewish ancestry Strauss was forced to make
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