Stolz received his early music education from his musician parents, Jacob, a conductor and music teacher, and Ida, a concert pianist. He studied formally at the Vienna Conservatory and with Humperdinck in Berlin. He worked as a conductor in Marburg, Salzburg and at the German Theatre in Brno. Stolz's work as a composer began as a result of a meeting with Strauss. He continued to conduct, but composed several operettas and songs during this period. The song "Servus, du!" brought him his first success in 1911. He received international recognition when Jean Gabin performed his song "Hallo, du süsse Klingelfee" at the Casino de Paris in 1919. Stolz worked in German caberet and composed for early Berlin films. He also won Oscars for his American film score work.