Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary Composer Biographies

Louis Moreau Gottschalk

Born: May 8, 1829 in New Orleans, Louisiana, America
Died: December 18, 1869 in Tijuca Brazil. Buried in Brooklyn New York, America
Nationality: American
Era: Romantic
Main genre: Piano, Vocal, Opera, Orchestral
Main works:
Piano:
The Banjo
La scintilla, Mazurka
Marche funebre
The Dying Poet
Grand Tartantelle
The Union
Brief biography:

Louis Gottschalk was greatly influenced by his grandmother of who was of Creole decent, and his African American nurse. He was a famous pianist and composer in his times. In fact, it can be argued that he was the first American pianist; he most certainly popularized the piano concert. In 1845 at the age of 16 he gave a successful concert in which Chopin stated that Gottschalk would become "the King of Pianists." Gottschalk traveled frequently therefore his music is a mixture of north and south American, Caribbean and European influences. It also hints of the jazz and ragtime sounds that are to come from future American composers. Gottschalk composed 5 operas, one of which is lost, 8 instrumental pieces including 2 symphonies, well over 100 piano pieces, and over 15 vocal pieces, most of which are accompanied with piano.

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