Stolz was born of musical parents in Graz. His father was a conductor, his mother a concert pianist, and he was the great-nephew of the soprano Teresa Stolz. At the age of seven, he toured Europe as a pianist, playing Mozart. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory with Robert Fuchs and Engelbert Humperdinck. From 1899 he held successive conducting posts at Maribor (then called Marburg), Salzburg and Brno before succeeding Artur Bodanzky at the Theater an der Wien in 1907. There he conducted, among other pieces, the first performance of Oscar Strauss's Der Tapfere Soldat (The Chocolate Soldier) in 1908, before leaving in 1910 to become a freelance composer and conductor. Meanwhile, he had begun to compose operettas and individual songs and had a number of successes in these fields.
The rise of Nazi Germany led Stolz to return to Vienna, where his title-song for the film Ungeküsst soll man nicht schlafen gehn was a hit, but then came the Anschluss, and he moved again, first to Zürich and then to Paris, where in 1939 he was interned as an enemy alien. With the help of friends he was released and in 1940 made his way to New York.
Bust of Robert Stolz in the Viennese City Park
In America, Stolz achieved fame with his concerts of Viennese music, starting with "A Night in Vienna" at Carnegie Hall. As a result, he received many invitations to compose music for shows and films, and he received two Academy Awards nominations: "Waltzing in the Clouds" was nominated for Best Original Song in 1941, and his score for It Happened Tomorrow was nominated for Best Dramatic or Comedy Picture Score in 1945.
In 1946 Stolz returned to Vienna, where he lived for the rest of his life. In the 1960s and 1970s he made numerous recordings of operettas by composers such as Johann Strauss, Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kálmán, and Leo Fall, whom he had known previously.
THIS IS A WONDERFUL CONCERT FEATURING HIS MOST FAMOUS SONGS!