"listened to a military band play Strauss without much enthusiasm"

Renowned as one of the world's great composers, Austrian Johann Strauss (1825 – 1899) was known as 'The Waltz King' for his impressive collection of light dance music, including more than 500 waltzes, polkas and other dance scores, as well as a ballet and various operettas.

Some of his most famous works include 'Kaiser-Walzer', 'The Blue Danube', 'Tales from the Vienna Woods' and the Pizzicato Polka. The operettas, Die Fledermaus and Der Zigeunerbaron are also popular.

The son of the successful dance composer Johann Strauss I, the young Strauss strongly encouraged to take up banking instead. Strauss did not follow his father's advice, and instead studied music with composer Joseph Drechsler, taking violin lessons in secret. 

Strauss died aged 73 of double pneumonia, in Vienna in 1899.