Cover Eduard Strauss: The Third Man of the Strauss Family

Leigh Bailey: Eduard Strauss: The Third Man of the Strauss Family, Wien: Hollitzer Verlag, 2017, 316 pp., 17,5 x 24,5 cm, English, hardcover

ISBN 978-3-99012-355-3 (hbk) € 39,90
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Leigh Bailey

Eduard Strauss: The Third Man of the Strauss Family

Eduard Strauss I (1835–1916), the youngest of the three Strauss brothers – and hence the ‘third man’ of the family, has always been overshadowed by his siblings Johann II and Josef. However, he was the longest lived and most widely travelled of the three and, as sole conductor and manager of the Strauss Orchestra for thirty years, brought authentic performances of his family’s music to audiences in hundreds of towns and cities in Europe and North America. At home in Vienna he made an invaluable contribution to the city’s musical and cultural life, while having at the same time to cope with continual tensions and problems within the Strauss family.


"Eduard Strauss remains an emblematic figure of his time and its culture,
and Leigh Bailey has brought him to life."
Robin O'Neill (Anglo-Austrian Society, Newsletter Winter 2020,


Foreword by Dr Eduard Strauss



Family Tree of the Strauss Family

Prelude: Eduard Strauss’s Vienna (1835–1916)

The musicians of the Strauss dynasty – the development of the Viennese ball – Vienna as the imperial capital and residence, its atmosphere and development during Eduard Strauss’s lifetime – his two addresses in the city.

The Strauss Family (1835)
Vienna in March 1835 – death of Franz I – birth of Eduard Strauss – his family and his father’s career and private life.

Childhood and Education (1835–1849)
Life in the Strauss family home – Eduard’s education and his experiences during the 1848 revolution.

Musical Début (1850–1862)
Eduard’s plans and interests after leaving school – Strauss family life in the 1850s – Eduard decides to train as a musician, his début as a harpist with the Strauss Orchestra, further musical education and first appearance as a conductor.

Handsome Edi, the Waltz Prince (1862–1869)
Eduard Strauss’s role in the family business and relations with brothers Johann and Josef – press hostility to Eduard – visit to Russia – three Strauss orchestras and the golden years of the dynasty.

From Family Crisis to Two Imperial Titles (1869–1872)
Tensions between Johann, Josef and Eduard – deaths of mother Anna and Josef – Johann turns to operetta and Eduard assumes sole responsibility for the Strauss Orchestra, subsequently succeeding Johann as Imperial-Royal Director of Music for Court Balls.

Successes and Setbacks in Johann’s Shadow (1872– 1878)
Busy Carnival seasons – more tension between Eduard and Johann, especially over performances for the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873 – Eduard and the Strauss Orchestra begin to find their dominant position in Vienna hard to maintain.

Summers on Tour, Winters in Vienna (1878–1885)
Eduard reorganizes the Strauss Orchestra and begins his series of summer tours, especially to Germany, while concentrating on his Sunday afternoon concerts in the Musikverein in Vienna during the winter.

From London to New York (1885–1890)
First visit to London and extensive summer tours of Germany – Eduard’s winter concerts in Vienna with appearances by Johann and first performances of his dances – problems with younger son Josef – recordings for Edison’s phonograph – arrangements for first visit to America.

Fame Abroad, Problems at Home (1890–1896)
Long and successful tour of the USA and Canada – tensions with brother Johann and more problems with son Josef – visit to Russia not entirely a success – second visit to London with command performance for Queen Victoria in Windsor Castle and return via Holland and Germany – improvement in relations with Johann.

From Family Catastrophe to Twice-Earned Retirement (1896–1901)
Eduard Strauss’s role in Vienna’s musical life at the imperial court and in the concert hall – Eduard learns that his wife and sons have misappropriated virtually all his savings – third visit to London and further lengthy tours of Germany in order to rebuild his fortune – death of Johann and Eduard’s bitterness at being completely ignored in his will – Eduard’s elder son Johann attempts to launch his own musical career – second tour of America highly successful, but ending with a serious shoulder injury and the disbandment of the Strauss Orchestra.

Memoirs, Burnings and Bitterness (1901–1907)
Eduard’s retirement increasingly beset by both health and family problems – official honours and belated recognition of his achievements by the Viennese press – writes his memoirs – decides to burn virtually the entire musical archive of the Strauss Orchestra.

The Last Years (1908–1916)
Increasing health problems – Eduard becomes preoccupied with his will, determined to ensure that neither his wife and sons nor their creditors can get their hands on his money – his birthdays lead to a wave of interest and congratulations – final illness, death and burial in a grave of honour in Vienna’s Central Cemetery.

Postlude: Eduard Strauss’s Musical Legacy Obituaries and legacy – Eduard’s place in the Strauss dynasty – his achievements as conductor and composer – performances of his works.



Index of Names

Index of Compositions by Eduard Strauss