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Louis Moreau Gottschalk

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Louis Moreau Gottschalk pictured on a 1864 Publication of The Dying Poet for piano

Louis Moreau Gottschalk (May 8, 1829December 18, 1869) was an American composer and pianist, best known as a virtuoso performer of his own romantic piano pieces.

Biography

Gottschalk was born of a Jewish businessman from London and a white Creole Haitian in New Orleans, where he was exposed to a wide variety of musical traditions. His family lived in the Creole quarters of the city, and his Grandmother Busl and his nurse Sally were both natives of Saint-Domingue. He played the piano from an early age and was soon recognized as a wunderkind by the New Orleans bourgeois establishment. In 1840, he gave his informal public debut at the (then) new St. Charles Hotel.

Only two years later, he left the United States and sailed to Europe, realizing that a classical training would be required to fulfill his musical ambitions. The Conservatoire in Paris, however, initially rejected his application, and Gottschalk only gradually gained access to the musical establishment through friends.

Upon his return to the United States in 1853, Gottschalk travelled extensively; a lengthy trip to Cuba in 1854 marking the beginning of a series of trips to Central and South America. By the 1860s, Gottschalk had established himself as the foremost pianist in the New World. Although born in New Orleans, he was a supporter of the Union cause during the American Civil War. In 1865, however, he was forced to leave the United States as the result of what was regarded as a scandalous affair with a student at the Oakland Female Seminary. He chose to again travel to South America, where he continued to give frequent concerts. During one of these concerts, in Rio de Janeiro on November 24, 1869, he collapsed, the result of a burst appendix. Much was made of the fact that, just before his collapse, he had finished playing his romantic piece Morte!!, although the actual collapse occurred just as he started to play his celebrated piece Tremolo.

Gottschalk never recovered from the collapse and three weeks later, on December 18, 1869, died at his hotel in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

External link

ja:ルイス・モロー・ゴットシャルク

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