German composer, born on 11 June 1864 in Munich, began to compose at the age of six and was published at the age of eleven. He was assistant conductor at the Munich opera from 1886 to 1889 and moved to Bayreuth in 1891 at the invitation of Cosima Wagner.

His first major opera was Salome in 1905, based on Oscar Wilde's play, followed by Elektra in 1909, which began his collaboration with the poet and librettist Hugo von Hoffmansthal. Together they did Der Rosenkavalier in 1911 (where Strauss's ambition to write operas like Mozart succeeded) and Ariadne auf Naxos in 1912.

In the Nazi era his career was threatened because he worked with Jews, and Strauss resigned his official positions. He was too important a national figure for the Nazis to touch. His final opera was Capriccio, which was followed by the valedictory Four Last Songs. He died on 8 September 1949 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which is where he wrote all his later works.

Other well-known works include the symphonic poems Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel, Ein Heldenleben, Also Sprach Zarathustra (used in the film 2001), and Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration).

One might argue that the above writeup minimizes Strauss' association with the Nazis. Although he was not a serious collaborator, he was quite close with many of its musical figures, and was certaintly more of an opportunist than a principled opponent until the last year of the war. At the same time, this is not to say he was a out and out Nazi like Pfitzner. Rather, he was a musician who knew how to use politics.

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