Gustave Satter was born on February 12, 1832 at Rann in Slovenia, then part of the Austrian Empire. Rejecting the desire of his father that he take up medicine, he turned to music, and was largely self-taught. At the age of 19 he composed a mass and an orchestral work based on Schiller's "Ode to Joy" which did not receive much attention, in contrast to his career as a pianist. After a series of successful concerts in New York and Boston in 1855 he settled the United States, where he taught, composed, and held concerts. He composed one opera, Olanthe. In 1879, Satter disappeared into the south where it is believed he died at the age of 47 in an unknown place.