Johann Strauss I (Johann Strauss Sr.) was an Austrian violinist and composer born on March 14, 1804 (Beethoven was 34 years old.) He began studying the violin at age twelve, approximately, but, as far as I know, never studied to become a concert violinist. He joined a dance orchestra in his youth which he also helped conduct. In 1825, he formed his own band and began to write music for it to play. His most famous piece is probably the Radetzky March. He was the father of three sons who became popular composers. Strauss died in September, 1849.