Lehár, Franz [Ferencz]
(Born; Komarón, 30 April 1870; Died; Bad Ischl, 24 Oct 1948). Austrian composer of Hungarian origin. The son of a military bandmaster and composer, he studied in Prague with Foerster and Fibich and followed his father in an army career. In 1902 he resigned to work in Vienna as a conductor and composer, notably of operettas, achieving spectacular international success with Die lustige Witwe (1905), Der Graf von Luxemburg (1909) and Zigeunerliebe (1910). These and others restored the fortunes of the Viennese operetta and opened the genre to a greater musical and dramatic sophistication. After World War I his time seemed to have passed, but then came new successes, many written for Richard Tauber: Paganini (1925), Der Zarewitsch (1927), Friederike (1928), Das Land des Lächelns (1929) and Giuditta (1934). His other works include waltzes, marches and songs.
© Groves Dictionaries, MacMillan Publishers Limited, UK