Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869), was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. During his career he had a considerable reputation as a pianist and composer of virtuoso piano pieces. Sent to Paris to study, he played at Salle Pleyel before his 16th birthday and was praised by Chopin. He was treated as a sensation from the New World at his formal debut in 1849. He toured widely in Europe, playing the piano and conducting orchestras performing his works, before returning to New York and touring the United States. His compositions, using syncopated rhythms, jagged melodic lines and folk dance elements, were precursors of musical developments to occur at the end of the nineteenth century.