American pianist; born at New Orleans May 8, 1829; died at Rio de Janeiro Dec. 18, 1869. He completed his musical education at Paris (1841-46), and was but sixteen when he wrote his well-known compositions "Le Bananier," "La Savane," "La Bamboula," and "La Danse Ossianique." From 1845 to 1852 he made successful tours through France, Switzerland, and Spain. In 1853 he traveled through many parts of the United States, playing and conducting his own compositions; and such was the success of these concerts that Max Strakosch engaged him for a tour extending through the United States, the West Indies, and Spanish America. Among other decorations, Gottschalk was honored with the Order of Carlos III., presented to him by the Spanish minister at Washington at the request of Queen Isabella.

Gottschalk was the first American pianist to attain to cosmopolitan fame. The original element in his compositions was derived from the Spanish, Cuban, and negro folk-songs, and certain dances, which he had heard in his boyhood; and this material he skilfully developed into a distinctive genre. His principal orchestral works are: two operas, "Charles IX." and "Isaura de Salerno" (never performed); two symphonies, "La Nuit des Tropiques," and "Montevideo"; "Gran Marcha Solemne" (to the Emperor of Brazil); "Escenas Campestres Cubanas"; and "Gran Tarantella." His pianoforte works, about ninety in number, include: "Jota Aragonesa"(banjo), "Caprice Espagnol," "Caprice Americain," "Last Hope," "Marche de Nuit," "Marche Solennelle," "Berceuse," and "Pasquinade."

  • Luis Ricardo Fors, Gottschalk (in Spanish), Havana, 1880;
  • W. J. Henderson, in the Nation, xxxiv. 16;
  • Music, ii. 117-132;
  • Baker, Biog. Dict. of Musicians.
S. J. So.
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