Richard Strauss is widely considered to be the most famous of the German post-Romantic composers, the dominant figure in German musical life during the first half of the 20th century. He conducted most of the great orchestras of the world and composed works for piano, chamber music, and choral music. He is best known, however, as a master of the 19th-century Lieder and for his symphonic poems, programmatic orchestral music, and operas.

Strauss composed this Serenade when he was 17, and its first performance took place on November 27, 1882 in Dresden. Although later dismissed by Strauss himself as "no more than the respectable work of a music student", the piece is considered a masterpiece of large wind ensemble music and is still often performed. --James Huff 19:36, 28 November 2008 (UTC) (from the program notes of The Claremont Winds, submitted with permission)