Louis Moreau Gottschalk
“THE TRANSCONTINENTAL LIFE
AND MULTICULTURAL MUSICAL INFLUENCES OF
LOUIS MOREAU GOTTSCHALK”
7:30 pm November 5, 2022
at Sweet Briar Chapel
“Gottschalk Discovers Paris and Europe Discovers Gottschalk’s Unique American Style of Composition and Virtuosic Piano Techniques”
Featuring Romantic and Creole Music of Gottschalk, Chopin, Berlioz, and Dvorak.
7:30 pm February 4, 2023
at Snidow Chapel, University of Lynchburg
“Americana: Gottschalk’s Musical Journey from Stephen Foster and James Hewitt’s Influences to his own Influences on Early Ragtime and Jazz”
Music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, James Hewitt, Stephen Foster, Jelly Roll Martin, Scott Joplin, Isaac Williams and others.
FINAL CONCERT TIME AND PLACE TO BE DETERMINED
“Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s Caribbean and South American Adventures: How Travels Changed His Music, His Continued Romanticism, and His influences on Early Latin Jazz.”
Featuring Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s late music memorializing his Latin American travels and musical trends that later emerged in Latin Jazz.
Louis Moreau Gottschalk was born in New Orleans in 1829 to a British-born Jewish father and a Louisiana Creole mother. As a child he heard African music in Congo Square and is said to have learned Creole songs from two Saint Domingue (now Haiti) natives, his grandmother Brusle and his Afro-Caribbean nurse, Sally.
Deemed a child prodigy, Gottschalk was sent by his parents to Paris to study piano in his 13th year. Inspired by concerts he attended performed by Chopin and Liszt, Gottschalk began to concertize professionally in 1849, composing and performing his piano works. He was congratulated by Chopin. Berlioz is reported to have found his American style of piano playing “fascinating.”
After touring throughout Europe in his 20s, Gottschalk returned to the United States. His New York debut in 1853 was a monumental success. Gottschalk toured and composed throughout the USA, becoming especially well-known and popular for playing his own romantic works. He concertized in the West Indies and lived in Cuba for several years in the1850s. During the U.S. Civil War, Gottschalk supported the North, composing and playing popular nationalistic works, including his best known, “The Union.” Post-War, after a scandal in San Francisco, Gottschalk lived in South America until his death at age 40 in 1869, after performing in an exhausting Rio de Janeiro concert festival.