A bizarre event in the musical world occurred in the last few days. Authorities in Austria have reported that someone broke into the graves of Brahms and Johann Strauss, Jr. in Vienna’s Central Cemetery and stole their teeth.
The self-confessed thief is Ondrej Jajcaj. In a video on YouTube, he says, “And now, we come to the major pedestal. On the top are the teeth of Johann Strauss Jr. To the left there are dentures of his wife Adele Strauss. To the right, we have rubber prosthesis of Johannes Brahms.”
I have been to these graves dozens of times and have taken hundreds of travelers there, and I find it remarkable that someone could get to the remains of these great composers. Each grave is covered with a heavy stone cover.
As a colleague of mine at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro said, “What is this world coming to?” I agree wholeheartedly!
BUT… this was not the first time the remains of a dead composer were taken. Click HERE to see the story I wrote about how Haydn’s skull was stolen.
Truth IS stranger than fiction.