May 8, 1829: Louis Moreau Gottschalk is born in a small house on the corner of Esplanade and Royal Streets in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, first of seven children born to Edward Gottschalk, part owner of a cloth shop, and Aimée-Marie Bruslé, daughter of a baker.
March 20, 1833: The New Orleans Bee carries the announcement that Edward Gottschalk, father of Louis Moreau Gottschalk (3), after suffering bankruptcy, is leaving the country and is selling his house and all its contents, including seven slaves.
November 7, 1836: When François Letellier, the organist of St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans is required to fill in for a missing bass soloist at high mass, he calls on his pupil, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (7) to take his place at the manuals while he plays the pedals. None of the congregation can tell the difference.
May 21, 1840: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (11) performs in a concert given by the violinist Felix Miolan, in the new St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans.
April 21, 1841: A benefit concert is given in the ballroom of the St. Louis Hotel, New Orleans to raise money to send Louis Moreau Gottschalk (11) to France for study.
May 1, 1841: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (11) departs New Orleans aboard the SS Taglione for study in France.
April 2, 1845: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (15) gives his first performance in Paris at the Salle Pleyel. He plays Chopin’s (35) e minor piano concerto and two unaccompanied works: Thalberg’s (33) transcription of airs from Rossini’s (53) Semiramide and Liszt’s (33) Fantasy on Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable. The performance is very successful. Chopin (35) and Kalkbrenner (59) are present. After the performance, Chopin meets the precocious American but no two people agree on exactly what he said to him.
February 16, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (37) makes his first appearance in almost six years in a program which includes the public premiere of his Cello Sonata op.65. One critic calls him “the Ariel of pianists.” Among the 300 in attendance at the Salle Pleyel is an interested American named Louis Moreau Gottschalk (18). Unknown to all present, this is Chopin's last performance in Paris.
April 17, 1849: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (19) gives his professional Paris debut in the Salle Pleyel. It is an unreserved critical and popular success. La France musicale claims that “Gottschalk is henceforth placed in the ranks of the best performers and of the most renowned composers for the piano.”
January 11, 1850: At a concert in Paris, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (20) plays his new mazurka Fatma for the first time in public.
August 7, 1850: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (21) plays an extremely successful concert at the Casino in Geneva.
March 25, 1851: The Pleyel piano factory in Paris suffers a devastating fire, throwing hundreds of people out of work. A benefit concert for the workers will be organized by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (21).
July 20, 1851: Jerusalem for two pianos by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (22) is performed for the first time, in Bordeaux.
September 23, 1851: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (22) gives his first concert after crossing from France into Spain, at San Sebastián.
November 17, 1851: As part of an attempt to cool tensions between Spain and the United States after the events of last August, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (22) is invited by the royal family to a soiree at the palace in Madrid.
November 21, 1851: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (22) gives his first recital in Madrid, to an invited audience.
December 13, 1851: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (22) gives his first public concert in Madrid, at the Coliseo del Circo. His concerts are very successful with the public and become a symbol of Spain-United States reconciliation.
June 13, 1852: Two new works by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) are performed for the first time, in the Teatro del Principe, Madrid, by the composer: El Sitio de Zaragoza, a symphony for ten pianos, and Souvenirs de Bellini for solo piano. The audience responds with unrestrained accolades.
August 3, 1852: After a tumultuous nine months of music making, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) departs Madrid.
November 19, 1852: Le Carnaval de Venise for piano by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) is performed for the first time, in the Royal Palace, Madrid by the composer.
November 29, 1852: After an extremely successful tour of Spain over the last year-and-a-half, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) boards ship in Cadiz and sails to Marseille via Gibraltar.
December 27, 1852: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) boards the steamer Humboldt in France to return to the United States for the first time in eleven years.
January 10, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) arrives in New York from France, his first time in the United States since 1842.
February 11, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) gives his first concert in New York, at Niblo’s Saloon. The reviews are mostly positive.
March 3, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) premieres his Fragment of the Symphony, “The Battle of Bunker Hill” in Philadelphia.
March 30, 1853: After an eleven-year absence, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (23) arrives home in New Orleans having traveled from Louisville, Kentucky aboard a paddle-wheeler. Since the boat arrives eight hours early, there is no one there to meet him.
May 18, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (24) departs New Orleans aboard the steamboat Magnolia for a concert tour.
October 18, 1853: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (24) gives the first of three performances in Boston, at the Music Hall. With the ticket price exorbitantly high, the audience is very small. The reviews are decidedly mixed.
October 23, 1853: Edward Gottschalk dies in New Orleans. His son, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (24), in Boston on a concert tour, hurries home. From this date, the composer will take on all his father’s debts and support his mother and siblings.
December 17, 1853: In serious financial difficulty, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (24) sets sail from New York for his home in New Orleans.
February 23, 1855: After a year of concertizing in Cuba, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (25) boards a British steamer in Havana bound for Mobile and New Orleans.
March 26, 1855: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (25) goes aloft in a hot air balloon piloted by one Godard. They ascend from New Orleans and float north for only six minutes, landing on the tracks of the Pontchartrain Railroad. He is perhaps the first composer to fly. See 1 April 1855.
April 1, 1855: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (25) ascends in a hot air balloon over New Orleans for a second time in a week. He brings with him a harmonicon, a small keyboard instrument. The balloon takes the same trajectory as the flight of 26 March but this time, Gottschalk composes Pensée poétique. This is the first recorded instance of composition in mid-air. See 26 March 1855.
December 20, 1855: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (26) begins a series of 16 concerts in Dodsworth’s Hall on Broadway, New York City, which will last until 7 June 1856. Every seat at every concert will be sold.
February 28, 1856: La Gaselle: Andante élégant for piano solo by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (26) is performed for the first time, in New York, the composer at the keyboard.
June 7, 1856: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (27) gives the last of a series of 16 concerts this Winter and Spring at Dodworth’s Hall, New York. They are so successful that during the run, 200 seats have been added to the hall, and patrons seated on the stage.
October 14, 1856: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (27) premieres his Grande Valse poétique concertante for voice and piano in Philadelphia.
February 7, 1857: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (27) leaves New York for Havana and a concert tour of Cuba. He will spend the next five years in the Caribbean.
February 12, 1857: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (27) arrives in Havana from New York aboard the steamer Quaker City.
January 7, 1858: A grand festival of Puerto Rican music is held in Ponce, organized by the visiting American, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (28). A makeshift stage is built at the local inn, over the coffin of a wealthy foreigner who recently died. While he is performing on the piano (which he had to tune), the stage collapses causing general pandemonium. Gottschalk survives unhurt.
May 16, 1858: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (29) gives the first of several concerts in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
June 12, 1859: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (30) gives the first of twelve concerts in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe.
July 10, 1859: A large religious festival takes place in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe. At a mass during which 200 girls are given first communion, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (30) performs a long improvisation on the organ. Four bishops, from Trinidad, Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe, hold an outdoor procession complete with the military and ringing church bells. At night, the French governor hosts a ball during which Gottschalk performs. Following this, he gives a benefit concert before the four bishops and 150 clergymen and students. It is possible that Gottschalk premieres part of his La Nuit des tropiques, in piano score.
November 26, 1859: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (30) arrives back in Havana aboard the English steamer Trent after a concert tour of several Caribbean islands.
December 22, 1859: Murmures éoliens op.46 for piano by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (30) is performed for the first time, in Havana, by the composer.
February 17, 1860: Escenas campestres, a one-act opera by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (30) to anonymous words, is performed for the first time, in the Teatro de Tacón, Havana. Also premiered are two orchestral works by Gottschalk: Marcha Triunfal y Final de Opera and La nuit des tropiques. See 10 July 1859.
January 17, 1862: After reporting to the American Embassy in Havana, formally renouncing his allegiance to his home state of Louisiana and declaring his fidelity to the United States, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (32) boards ship for New York.
February 11, 1862: On the ninth anniversary of his New York debut, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (32) gives his first public concert in the city in five years, at Niblo’s Saloon.
February 22, 1862: L’Union op.48, a fantasy on Yankee Doodle, Hail Columbia, and The Star-Spangled Banner for piano by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (32), is performed for the first time, in New York by the composer. The work stirs the crowd into a patriotic frenzy.
June 15, 1863: At a station platform in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (34) alights from the train and with a great crowd reads a sign on the bulletin board. General Lee has just invaded Pennsylvania and is heading for the state capital at Harrisburg where Gottschalk is due to perform tomorrow.
June 16, 1863: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (34) and his party board a train for Harrisburg, the only three civilians on a train full of soldiers. They pass a stream of refugees fleeing in the opposite direction. Upon reaching Harrisburg they find a city in terror and decide to forgo their concert and make for Philadelphia.
June 17, 1863: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (34) and his party reach Philadelphia after a train trip of 150 km from Harrisburg which takes the entire night. Their train, packed to the gills with refugees, is constantly shunted to make room for troop trains going in the opposite direction.
March 24, 1864: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (34) performs in Willard’s Hall, Washington before an audience including President and Mrs. Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward.
March 26, 1864: General Ulysses S. Grant and his staff attend a concert given by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (34) at Grover’s Theatre on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington.
April 1, 1865: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (35) gives his last concert in New York. In the evening, he boards ship for San Francisco by way of the Isthmus of Panama.
April 23, 1865: Aboard the Constitution, two days out from San Francisco, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (35) and his party receive simultaneous news that General Lee has surrendered and President Lincoln has been murdered.
April 24, 1865: A memorial service for President Lincoln is held aboard the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Johnson Field gives a eulogy. The musicians aboard perform patriotic music including Louis Moreau Gottschalk (35) who plays his Union.
May 10, 1865: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) makes his debut appearance in San Francisco at Maguire’s Academy of Music.
August 25, 1865: Forty prominent citizens of San Francisco host a grand banquet in honor of Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36), the man of the hour in the city.
September 8, 1865: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) premieres his polka Ses yeux op.66 in San Francisco.
September 14, 1865: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) and a friend, Charles Legay, meet for a rendezvous with two 20-year-old women in Oakland. They go for a carriage ride of several hours, bringing the young women back to their residence, the Oakland Female College, at 02:30.
September 16, 1865: 14:00 A telegram arrives at the Sacramento Daily Bee informing the paper of “a bit of scandalous conduct on the part of Gottschalk (36) and his business agent.” The events of the night of 14-15 September are reported, seriously embellished. It will go on to be reported in the San Francisco Examiner and the Morning Call.
September 18, 1865: Between 01:00-03:00 Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) and his servant, Fermin Meras, arrive at the San Francisco wharf in a closed carriage and board the steamship Colorado. Gottschalk has been named as one of two men responsible for abducting two young San Francisco women and the newspaper rumor mill has been working overtime. The rumors will soon circulate throughout the western United States.
October 1, 1865: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) emerges from his cabin for the first time since leaving San Francisco, as his ship docks at Panama City.
October 7, 1865: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) gives his first recital since leaving the United States, in Panama.
October 10, 1865: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) and his servant board ship in Panama City for Callao, Peru. Their travelling companions are six French nuns and a Peruvian priest.
October 18, 1865: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) and his servant arrive in Callao, Peru and proceed to Lima.
November 6, 1865: The rebel army of General Mariano Ignacio Prado attacks Lima and an urban battle ensues. It is witnessed by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) hiding in a pharmacy. After artillery shells begin landing, and a musket ball passes very close to his head, Gottschalk enters the fray, attempting to transport wounded to the hospital.
November 17, 1865: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) gives the first of several concerts at Teatro Municipal, Lima. The audience is wildly enthusiastic.
December 22, 1865: Caprice on Peruvian Airs for piano by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) is performed for the first time, in Lima.
January 6, 1866: The Club Nacional de Lima presents Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) with a medal, in the Peruvian capital.
March 20, 1866: After a series of concerts in Lima, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (36) boards ship for Arica, Peru (now Chile), where he will give several performances in northern Chile and southern Peru.
June 3, 1866: At a concert in Santiago de Chile, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (37) introduces his L’Alianza dedicated to the alliance of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador against Spain, and the friendship of those four countries with the United States.
April 26, 1867: After spending four months in Copiapo, Chile, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (37) boards ship making for Buenos Aires.
May 18, 1867: A ship carrying Louis Moreau Gottschalk (38) docks at Punta Arenas, at the southern tip of South America.
May 25, 1867: On a ship from Valparaiso, Chile, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (38) reaches the Rio de la Plata where he will live for two years.
December 1, 1867: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (38) premieres his Souvenir de Buenos Aires for piano in Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires.
February 19, 1868: General Venancio Flores, President of Uruguay, is murdered in Montevideo. The unstable political situation causes Louis Moreau Gottschalk (38) to return to Buenos Aires.
March 20, 1868: A concert by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (38) in the Coliseo, Buenos Aires does not fill the hall. A recent cholera epidemic killed thousands of people.
November 10, 1868: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (39) premieres his 2me symphonie romantique “A Montevideo” at an enormous concert in Montevideo. The evening features a large number of musicians and is attended by President Lorenzo Batlle y Grau of Uruguay and members of naval squadrons from Brazil and the United States.
April 4, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s (39) Piano Septet is performed for the first time, in Montevideo.
April 21, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (39) boards the steamship Kepler in Montevideo, making for Rio de Janeiro.
June 3, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) gives his first concert in Rio de Janeiro, before Emperor Pedro II and members of the royal family.
June 9, 1869: Grande Phantasia sobre motivos de Norma for two pianos by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) is performed for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro, the composer at one keyboard.
June 18, 1869: Two works for piano by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) are performed for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro by the composer: Dernier Amour op.63 and Tremolo op.58.
July 30, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) performs at the Palace of San Christorão in Rio de Janeiro for Emperor Pedro II of Brazil.
July 31, 1869: Dawn. As Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) leaves the royal palace in Rio de Janeiro, he stands in the rain for some time waiting for his carriage. By tomorrow he will be in bed with a fever.
August 4, 1869: Doctors in Rio de Janeiro announce that Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) is near death with yellow fever.
August 22, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) arrives in Valença, a mountain retreat 90 km northwest of Rio de Janeiro, while convalescing with yellow fever.
September 12, 1869: Recovered from yellow fever, and after performances in Santos and São Paulo, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) arrives back in Rio de Janeiro.
October 31, 1869: Variations de concert sur l’hymne portugais for piano and orchestra by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40), composed to honor King Luis I of Portugal and Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, is performed for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro.
November 24, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) directs an enormous performance of 650 musicians in the Teatro Lyrico Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro. Included is the first performance of his orchestral work, Marche solennelle.
November 25, 1869: After lying exhausted in bed all day, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) appears for a performance at the Teatro Lyrico Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro. He plays ten to twelve bars of his Tremelo, grande étude de concert op.58 and collapses from appendicitis. Doctors, unaware of his affliction, treat him with opiates.
November 26, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40), in agonizing pain, appears to conduct the second of the large festival performances in Rio de Janeiro. Before he mounts the podium, he collapses again and is carried off to his hotel where he is attended by the personal physician to Emperor Pedro.
December 8, 1869: Because of a summer heat wave, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) is moved to Tijuca, twelve km from downtown Rio de Janeiro.
December 14, 1869: At Tijuca, near Rio de Janeiro, where he had gone to escape the summer heat, Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s (40) appendix bursts and, although he is no longer in pain, he shortly becomes delirious. He develops peritonitis.
December 18, 1869: Dawn. Louis Moreau Gottschalk dies at Tijuca, Empire of Brazil, of peritonitis following a burst appendix, aged 40 years, seven months, and ten days.
December 19, 1869: After lying in state in the rooms of the Philharmonic Society, thousands of onlookers watch as the mortal remains of Louis Moreau Gottschalk are laid to rest in the Cemitério São João Batista, Rio de Janeiro.
August 26, 1870: In Rio de Janeiro, the remains of Louis Moreau Gottschalk (†0) are placed aboard the steamer Merrimack sailing for New York.