Willem Mengelberg/ Concertgebouw – Johann Strauss, Jr: Artists Life

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Willem Mengelberg
Born: March 28, 1871 – Utrecht, Holland
Died: March 21, 1951 – Chur, Switzerland
The celebrated Dutch conductor, (Josef) Willem Mengelberg, studied in Utrecht under Richard Hol, Henri Wilhelm Petri and Anton Averkamp and then went to the Music School in Cologne to study under Franz Wüllner and Adolf Jensen; he took first prize in piano, composition and orchestral conducting.

Willem Mengelberg made his debut as a pianist at a very young age and took over leadership of the Lucerne City Conservatory in 1891. Only four years later, in 1895, he was nominated musical director of the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and did not leave this post until 1945

Johann Strauss II (October 25, 1825 — June 3, 1899; also known as Johann Baptist Strauss, and Johann Strauss, Jr., the Younger, or the Son (German: Sohn) was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet. In his lifetime, he was known as «The Waltz King», and was largely responsible for the popularity of the waltz in Vienna during the 19th century.

Strauss was born in St. Ulrich (now a part of Neubau), the son of Johann Strauss I, another composer of dance music. His father did not wish him to become a composer, but rather a banker; however, the son defied his father’s wishes, and went on to study music with the composer Joseph Drechsler and the violin with Anton Kollmann, the ballet répétiteur of the Vienna Court Opera. Strauss had two younger brothers, Josef and Eduard Strauss, who became composers of light music as well, although they were never as well-known as their elder brother.

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