b Komaron, then Hungary, 30 April 1870
d Bad Ischl, 24 October 1948, aged seventy-eight
He was the son of an Army bandmaster, whose continual moving compelled Franz junior to study as best he could. At the age of twelve he won a scholarship to the Music Academy in Prague, where he stayed for six years, and became a proficient violinist. Dvorak and Brahms both encouraged him to concentrate on composition. He, too, became a bandmaster, the youngest ever appointed by the Austrian Army, at the age of twenty. The interest shown in him by a Viennese publisher made him give up the Army and become a full-time composer. After initial popularity - with The Merry Widow, for example - came a less successful period coinciding with the World War I years; then came renewed success, particularly from the time that he met Tauber, for whom all his subsequent operettas were written.
The Merry Widow, operetta
Count of Luxembourg, operetta
The Land of Smiles, operetta
Lehar also composed many other operettas and a violin concerto.