Richard Strauss is an outlier in the context of twentieth century music. Some consider him a composer of the late romantic period, while others declare him a traitor of modernity for his role in National Socialism. Despite the controversy surrounding him, Strauss's works—even beyond his most well-known operas Elektra and Rosenkavalier—are present in the repertories of concert halls worldwide and continue to enjoy large audiences. The details of the composer's life, however, remain shrouded in mystery and gossip. Laurenz Lütteken's Strauss presents a fresh approach to understanding this elusive composer's life and works. Dispensing with stereotypes and sensationalism, it reveals Strauss to be a sensitive intellectual and representative of modernity, with all light and shade of the turn of the twentieth century.