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Georges Bizet (par Félix Henri Giacomotti)

Georges BIZET

1838 - 1875

Composer, Pianist

Date of birth:
Date of death:

Born into a musical family—his father was a hairdresser and wigmaker turned singing teacher and his mother was an amateur pianist—Bizet received his first music lessons at home. A gifted pupil, he entered the Conservatoire in 1848, thanks to the good offices of his uncle, François Delsarte, the future movement theorist. He soon won first prizes in the classes of Marmontel (piano), Benoist (organ) and Halévy (composition). At the same time, he was also studying privately with Zimmermann, and it was at his classes that he met Gounod, whose influence was to prove conclusive, as can be seen by his remarkable Symphony in C (1855). Exceptionally precocious, particularly in his mastery of the orchestra, Bizet began to achieve success from this time on: after winning first prize in an operetta competition organised by Offenbach in 1856 (Le Docteur miracle), he received academic recognition the following year with a Premier Grand Prix de Rome, a prize which earned him a lengthy stay at the Villa Medici. When he returned to Paris with a new opera, Don Procopio, he was determined to follow a career as a composer. With the exception of several pieces for piano (Jeux d’enfants) and numerous transcriptions, art songs, motets (Te Deum) and a few isolated orchestral works (SymphonieRoma”, incidental music from L’Arlésienne), Bizet composed mainly operas (Les Pêcheurs de perles, 1863; La Jolie Fille de Perth, 1867; Djamileh, 1872), reaching the undisputed pinnacle of his career with Carmen, premiered only several months before his untimely death.

Chronological milestones

1838 1875 37 ans
1855
1857
1859
1862
1864
1866
1868
1871
1873
1875
1855

Symphony in C

Georges BIZET

1857

Le Docteur Miracle

Léon HALÉVY / Léon BATTU / Georges BIZET

1863

Les Pêcheurs de perles

Georges BIZET / Michel CARRÉ / Eugène CORMON

1872

L’ Arlésienne

Georges BIZET / Alphonse DAUDET

1875

Carmen

Georges BIZET / Henri MEILHAC / Ludovic HALÉVY

Works

L’ Arlésienne

Georges BIZET / Ernest GUIRAUD

1872

L’ Arlésienne

Georges BIZET / Alphonse DAUDET

1872

Carmen

Georges BIZET / Henri MEILHAC / Ludovic HALÉVY

1875

Les Chants du Rhin

Georges BIZET

1866

See the 16 œuvres en lien

Documents and archives

Cecile-Thevenet-en-Carmen

Press illustration, Picture of a scene, Photograph

Cécile Thévenet en Carmen

Emma-Calve-en-Carmen

Press illustration, Picture of a scene, Photograph

Emma Calvé en Carmen

Jeanne-Marie-de-l-Isle-en-Carmen

Press illustration, Picture of a scene, Photograph

Jeanne Marié de l'Isle en Carmen

Jeanne-Marie-de-l-Isle-en-Carmen

Press illustration, Picture of a scene, Photograph

Jeanne Marié de l'Isle en Carmen

See the 173 listed document(s)