Louis Moreau Gottschalk, an American pianist and composer, born in New Orleans, May 8, 1829, died in Rio de Janeiro, Dec. 18, 1869. His father was an Englishman of German-Jewish descent, and his mother was of French extraction. Louis was their eldest child, and gave evidences of a remarkable musical organization at three years of age. At six he took lessons on the piano and violin, and at twelve was sent to Paris, receiving there instruction from Halle and Camille Stamaty on the piano and from Maleden in harmony. He also formed the friendship of Hector Berlioz, from whom he received valuable advice. His first appearance as a pianist was on the continent, and it was not until Feb. 11, 1853, that he was heard in the United States, in concerts in New York and elsewhere. The class of music that he played and his skill made for him at once a widely extended reputation, and during his whole career he commanded the admiration of large and enthusiastic audiences. Although a composer, his published works exceeding 50 in number, he was preeminently a pianist. His compositions grew out of his love for the instrument, and were almost all written with a view to its capabilities. He seemed to have no grasp of musical effects except such as were producible upon the piano.

The pieces on which his reputation principally rests were illustrative of tropical life, such as Le bananier, La savane, Ricordati, La marche de nuit, O ma charmante, Le mancenillier, Reponds moi, Ojos criollos, and many Cuban dances. His arrangements of the compositions of others are few in number and of no special merit; nor had he any exceptional skill as an interpreter of the works of other composers. He constantly played his own compositions, and with a sensuous charm that no other pianist could approach. His touch was one of extreme delicacy as well as force, and there were no difficulties of the instrument that he had not mastered. The piano sang under his hand with wonderful expression. He died suddenly while at the height of his reputation.