Subscribe today to support our mission and contributors. This locket holds a portrait of Louis Moreau Gottschalk. At concerts and public appearances, the composer and pianist proudly wore the many honorific medals and jewels visible here bestowed upon him by adoring fans among the European nobility. While little actual documentation and precious little music from the colonial period survives, it is evident that music was an integral part of eighteenth-century society in both rural and urban areas. Documentation and ongoing scholarly activities clearly indicate that the classical musical tradition was exceptional in the nineteenth century. Classical music was also a unifying element of the many ethnic groups that settled Louisiana. By the twentieth century, the strength and diversity of classical music were clearly manifested in the number of organizations that sponsored performances, offered music education, and increased documentary studies on the history of classical music in the state. When Hernando de Soto and his fellow Spanish explorers traveled the Mississippi River Valley in , it is reasonably safe to presume they followed the practice of singing the Salve Regina on Saturdays.
Fans of classical music will be happy to learn that New Orleans is about to get its own dedicated classical music FM radio station. The public radio heroes behind WWNO The new hour, all-classical station will get its initial programming from Classical WWNO HD2, a digital classical music station that currently runs online. Current programming for WWNO HD2 includes orchestra programs, opera, a variety of classical selections and Continuum , a locally-produced early music series.
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, based in New Orleans and performing throughout the South, carries the torch for live orchestral music in a city long enamored with the musical arts. Formed in , the LPO is notable for being the oldest full-time musician-governed orchestra in the United States. Fans of everything from classics to pops can hear about live performances during the season, with free shows and community engagement offered throughout the state. Other smaller orchestras perform throughout the city as well with popular outdoor concerts in parks and others spaces.