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Louis M. Gottschalk

Louis M. Gottschalk
Short Name: Louis M. Gottschalk
Full Name: Gottschalk, Louis Moreau, 1829-1869
Birth Year: 1829
Death Year: 1869

Louis Moreau Gottschalk USA 1829-1869. Born in New Orleans, LA, to a Jewish father and Creole mother, he had six siblings and half-siblings. They lived in a small cottage in New Orleans. He later moved in with relatives (his grandmother and a nurse). He played the piano from an early age and was soon recognized as a prodigy by new Orleans bourgeois establishments. He made a performance debut at the new St. Charles Hotel in 1840. At 13 he left the U.S. And went to Europe with his father, as they realized he needed classical training to fulfill his musical ambitions. The Paris Conservatory rejected him without hearing him play on the grounds of his nationality. Chopin heard him play a concert there and remarked, “Give me your hand, my child, I predict that you will become the king of pianists. Franz Liszt and Charles Valentin Alkan also recognized his extreme talent. He became a composer and piano virtuoso, traveling far and wide performing, first back to the U.S., then Cuba, Puerto Rico, Central and South America. He was taken with music he heard in those places and composed his own. He returned to the States, resting in NJ, then went to New York City. There he mentored a young Venezuelan student, Carreno, and became concerned that she succeed. He was only able to give her a few lessons, yet she would remember him fondly and play his music the rest of her days. A year after meeting Gottschalk, she performed for President Lincoln and went on to become a renowned concern pianist, earning the nickname “Valkyrie of the Piano”. Gottschalk was also interested in art and made connections with notable figures of the New York art world. He traded one of his compositions to his art friend, Frederic Church, for one of Church's landscape paintings. By 1860 Gootschalk had established himself as the best known pianist in the New World. He supported the Union cause during the Civil War and returned to New Orleans only occasionally for concerts. He traveled some 95,000 miles and gave 1000 concerts by 1865. He was forced to leave the U.S. later that year as a result of a scandelous affair with a student at Oakland Female Seminary in Oakland, CA. He never came back to the U.S. He went to South America giving frequent concerts. At one, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he collapsed from yellow fever as he played a concert. He died three weeks later, never recovering from the collapse, possibly from an overdose of quinine or an abdominal infection. He was buried in Brooklyn, NY. Though some of his works were destroyed or disappeared after his death, a number of them remain and have been recorded by various artists.

John Perry

Tunes by Louis M. Gottschalk (3)sort descendingAsInstancesIncipit
CAST THY BURDEN (Gottschalk)Gottschalk (Composer)611223 32523 43262
MERCY (Gottschalk)Louis M. Gottschalk (Composer)65956513 32111 171
SEYMOUR (Weber)Louis M. Gottshalk (Composer)132436 53233 33471
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