Jacques Francois Fromental Elie Halevy
Jacques Halevy, whose real name was Levi, was born in Paris, May 27, 1799, and died at Nice, March 17, 1862.
He entered the Conservatoire in 1809, and gained a prize in solfege in 1810, and a second prize for harmony in 1811.
He then entered Cherubini’s class, and eventually won the Grand Prix de Rome.
He had the usual difficulty in obtaining recognition on his return from Rome.
In 1827, his L’Artisan was successfully produced, and this paved the way for other operatic works.
His reputation increased, but he was still obliged to write whatever was likely to attract attention, often to very poor librettos.
In 1835, however, he brought out his best known work, La Juive – The Jewess – and ten months later a successful comedy opera called L’éclair.
The impression created by these excellent works results in finally establishing Halevy’s reputation, and procured his entrance into the Institute.
Many other dramatic works followed, but nothing equal to La Juive in power and general excellence.
He became one of the first professors of the Conservatoire, and while still a student was a teacher of solfege.
He was appointed professor of harmony, 1827, of counterpoint and fugue, 1833, and composition, 1840. In this capacity he exerted a great influence, many of his pupils afterwards becoming famous, the most notable being Gounod, Bazin and Masse. He also taught Bizet – who afterwards married his daughter.