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|1869 - Louis Moreau Gottschalk, a composer and pianist and native of New Orleans, Louisiana passed away on this day at the age of 40. He was a virtuoso performer of his own romantic piano works. From an early age he was recognized as a wunderkind by the New Orleans bourgeois establishment. In 1840, he gave his informal public debut at the new St. Charles Hotel. His music was very popular during his lifetime, and his earliest compositions created a sensation in Europe. Early pieces like "Le Bananier" and "Bamboula" were based on Gottschalk's memories of the music he heard during his youth in Louisiana. Gottschalk chose to 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 from having contracted malaria.|