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Today we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss, a composer who has been a cornerstone to the performance history of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since our founding. At the invitation of our first music director—and a friend of the composer’s since the early 1880s—Theodore Thomas invited Strauss to guest conduct the Orchestra in 1904.

Read more: Happy 150th birthday to Richard Strauss!


‘Four Last Songs,’ Strauss’ farewell to life — and love

Richard Strauss didn’t live to hear his Four Last Songs performed, although in a sense it didn’t matter, for the lovingly remembered, long since faded soprano of his wife Pauline was the only ...

Strauss, reflecting on his artistic life, in ‘Metamorphosen’

During the darkest days of winter’s end in 1945, the Austrian conductor Karl Böhm rushed into the burning edifice of the grand Vienna State Opera House. Allied bombers had ravaged the majestic stru...