Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Studying the piano first with his mother and then with Heyberger, Waldteufel developed into one of the finest waltz composers second only to the Strauss'. In Paris, where his family moved when he was five, Waldteufel was able to sit-in on classes given by Marmontel until he was accepted, shortly thereafter, as a student of the Conservatoire. His piano teacher became Laurent and Massenet was among his classmates. Making a living teaching piano and playing at celebrated parties Waldteufel came into the employ of the Empress in 1865 and within a year was conducting the music for state dances. He received publishing contracts in London after introductions and a dedication of a new waltz for the Prince of Wales. Compared with the Strauss waltzes, Waldteufel's were less melodic and rhythmically diverse but nevertheless enjoyed an almost unsurpassed graciousness.