Not many enjoy a life filled with such variety as composer Richard Strauss did. At the young age of 24 he bursts onto the scene with his first great success, the tone poem Don Juan. From here on out he perfects the form of the tone poem, turning some of his works into symphony-like structures that last up to 50 minutes. At the same time, he is one of the leading conductors of his time. As such, he busies himself mostly with opera. Yet most of his compositional output at this time is still tone poems. But in 1905 his opera Salome causes a sensation. This is music that even the most forward thinking composers were only dreaming of.