Gottschalk and Cuba – A Project by pianist Antonio Iturrioz

Gottschalk and Cuba is a journey through 150 years of music which started with a 19th-century American pianist-composer visiting Havana in Cuba and a 21st-century Cuban pianist who came to America telling the story……

548f7ab6a0c07_louis_moreau_gottschalkNew Orleans born Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was one of the most astonishing keyboard virtuosos in 19th-century America. But he was much more than that. He was America’s first important pianist-composer. He was an extraordinary traveler, bringing his virtuosity to Europe, to Central and South America and to the Caribbean, where he lived in Cuba for extended periods. As a composer, his unique style combined his Creole musical heritage with the American, Latin American and Afro-Caribbean influences he absorbed during his travels – all expressed within the boundaries of classical piano writing prevalent in the 19th century. Gottschalk made friends wherever he traveled and these far-reaching connections are the subject of Cuban pianist Antonio Itturioz‘s new project Gottschalk and Cuba, a CD containing aantonio world premiere recording of the entire Nuit des Tropiques, Symphony Romantique, both movements, on one piano. The programme also features Antonio’s transcription for solo piano of the second movement (Fiesta Criolla) of Gottschalk’s monumental Nuit des Tropiques, (Night in the Tropics), a symphony Gottschalk wrote on the island of Martinique after living several years in Cuba. It is a historic work because it is the first symphony written by an American composer. After Gottschalk’s death, his friend Nicolas Ruiz Espadero published a two-piano version of this symphony which is the basis for Antonio’s transcription. In addition, the CD features piano music by well-known Cuban composers whose works all have connections to Gottschalk in one way or another.

More information about Antonio Itturioz’s ‘Gottschalk and Cuba’ kickstarter project here

Interview with Antonio Itturioz


Comments are closed.