Émile Waldteufel (9 December 1837 – 12 February 1915) was a French composer of popular music, such as waltzes and polkas. Life Waldteufel (German for forest devil) was born in Strasbourg to a Jewish Alsatian family of musicians. His father Louis had a respected orchestra, and his brother Léon was a successful musician. When Léon won a place to study violin performance at the Conservatoire de Paris, the entire family followed him there. It was in Paris that Émile would spend the rest of his life.