Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary Composer Biographies
Louis Moreau Gottschalk
May 8, 1829 in New Orleans, Louisiana, America
December 18, 1869 in Tijuca Brazil. Buried in Brooklyn New York, America
Piano, Vocal, Opera, Orchestral
La scintilla, Mazurka
The Dying Poet
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.