Yoel David Lewnsohn-Strashunsky was born in Liepaja, Latvia. He worked as a cantor in Vilna (1830-1841), and achieved fame in Lithuania and Poland as a cantor and as a choir leader. In 1841 he left his family and moved to Warsaw to further his studies and career, giving concerts in Poland. In 1849, he severed his ties with his family and ended his life in an asylum. Lewensohn Became a legendary figure due to his talent and his tragic life. Several of his compositions have been preserved.
Newspaper articles, a play and the movie Ouverture to Glory - Der Vilner shtot khazn were produced based on Strashunsky's life.
Source: Concise Encyclopedia of Jewish Music (Macy Nulman).