Born at Paris, October 25, 1838, Bizet early showed signs of extraordinary ability.
He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1848, where he remained until 1857, studying piano with Marmontel, organ with Benoist, harmony with Zimmermann, and composition with Halevy, whose daughter he married in 1869.
He won the coveted “Prix de Rome” in 1857, and proceeded to Italy. At intervals he sent back examples of his work in composition of an elaborate nature, but neither then nor on his return to France did he succeed in winning favor at first. In fact he barely lived long enough to enjoy the fruits of his genius.
His opera, “Les Pecheurs de Perles”, achieved a certain amount of success, but it was not until the production of “Carmen” that Bizet became famous. Three months after the production of “Carmen” he died, at Bougival, near Paris, June 3, 1875. His incidental music to Daudet’s play “L’Arlesienne”, met with approval, and is now frequently heard at orchestral concerts in the form of a suite.
His music possesses great melodic charm, and Bizet had tremendous skill in producing “local color”. “Carmen” is full of it, and the whole score is impregnated with the warm glow of the South.
He was greatly given to experimenting with his orchestra, and his works may be examined by orchestral students with great profit.