Although a Hungarian by birth (Siófok, October 24, 1882), Emmerich Kálmán is one of the great representatives of the Viennese operetta; indeed he is considered the last maestro of the genre. His compositions dominated the world of Viennese light music from 1909 through 1930, as well as major and minor stages throughout the German-speaking area.
Works such as the Csárdásfürstin, Gräfin Maritza, the Zirkusprinzessin remain even today, many decades after his death, the basis of operetta repertory. To a greater extent than his compatriot, Franz Lehár, Kálmán imbued his operettas with a Hungarian flavor. He attempted to revive the rather petrified world of turn-of-the-century operetta and give it a new direction by including refined tonal effects and contemporary forms of musical dance. Kálmán lived in the United States in the years 1940-45, and later in Paris, where he died on October 30, 1953.