Louis F. Gottschalk

For composer Louis M. Gottschalk, see Louis Moreau Gottschalk.

Louis Ferdinand Gottschalk (October 7, 1864 – July 15, 1934) was an American composer and conductor born in St. Louis, Missouri. The son of a Missouri governor, also named Louis, he studied music in Stuttgart, Germany, where his father, a judge, was American consul.[1] Louis Moreau Gottschalk was his great-uncle.


He came to attention as conductor of the U.S. premiere of Franz Lehár's The Merry Widow.[2] He was a pioneer of original film music, largely due to his work with independent filmmaker L. Frank Baum, for whom he composed the musical, The Tik-Tok Man of Oz, to Baum's libretto, which producer Oliver Morosco decided not to bring to Broadway after only modest success in Los Angeles. The show ran in 1913 and closed in early 1914, by which time Baum and Gottschalk were discussing getting involved in the nascent film industry that had been springing up in Hollywood, where both had been living at the time.

Baum, as president, with Gottschalk, as vice president, Harry Marston Haldeman as secretary, and Clarence R. Rundel as treasurer, founded The Oz Film Manufacturing Company in 1914 as an outgrowth of Haldeman's men's social group, The Uplifters, which met at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. As co-producer, Gottschalk composed the earliest known feature length film scores for The Patchwork Girl of Oz, The Magic Cloak of Oz, His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz, and The Last Egyptian (all 1914), at a time when cue sheets were the norm. He also wrote several stage musicals with Baum for The Uplifters, including Stagecraft, or, The Adventures of a Strictly Moral Man (1914), High Jinks (1914), The Uplift of Lucifer, or Raising Hell: An Allegorical Squazosh (1915), Blackbird Cottages (1916), and The Orpheus Road Show: A Paraphrastic Compendium of Mirth (1917).

After the Oz company dissolved, Gottschalk went on to work with D. W. Griffith, arranging cue sheets for Broken Blossoms (1919) and composing a score for Orphans of the Storm (1921). Other major films for which he contributed scores include The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Three Musketeers, Little Lord Fauntleroy (all 1921), and Romola (1924). He composed a score for Charles Chaplin's A Woman of Paris (1923), but Chaplin replaced it with a score of his own when Chaplin re-released the film in 1976.


Gottschalk died of a stroke of paralysis at his Los Angeles home on July 16, 1934 at the age of 70.[3]

Additional works

Broadway conducting credits


  1. The New York Times obituary.
  2. McPherson, Jim "The Savage Innocents--Part 2: On the Road with Parsifal, Butterfly, the Widow, and the Girl." The Opera Quarterly - Volume 19, Number 1, Winter 2003, pp. 28-63
  3. "Louis F. Gottschalk, Composer of Light Opera, Dies After Stroke." The New York Times, July 17, 1934.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.