Lanner, Josef

Josef Lanner
April 12, 1801 – April 14, 1843

Josef Franz Lanner was an Austrian violinist and composer. Lanner’s strongest contribution to classical music was his reinvention of the waltz. Previously the waltz was thought as a simple peasant dance. Lanner’s works made the dance popular with the nobles and peasants alike.

Lanner’s musical skill on the violin was entirely self-taught. He joined a small orchestra before assembling a quartet of his own. The group grew along with its popularity, and eventually became a full orchestra, with Lanner conducting. They began to play at carnivals. Such was their popularity that Lanner brought on Johann Strauss I to lead a second group.

The pair eventually severed acrimoniously, which led to a lifelong rivalry (although they eventually reconciled). Lanner’s waltzes remained popular, and he was eventually hired as Musik-Direktor of the Redoutensäle in the Hofburg Imperial Palace.

He later died from typhus in 1843.

Notable works:
Hofballtänze Walzer
Die Werber Waltz
Die Romantiker Waltz
Die Schönbrunner Walzer