Ernest Guiraud

Ernest Guiraud

French composer and teacher.
Date of Birth: 26.06.1837
Country: France

Biography of Ernest Guiraud

Ernest Guiraud was a French composer and music teacher. He was born into a family of musicians, with his father being a music teacher. At the age of 15, he wrote an opera called "King David," which was performed in New Orleans. In 1852, he moved to Paris to further his musical career.

Guiraud received his musical education at the Paris Conservatory, where he studied piano with Antoine Marmontel and composition with Fromental Halévy. In 1859, he won the Prix de Rome for his cantata "Bayezid and the Flutist."

In 1876, Guiraud was invited to join the faculty of the Paris Conservatory as a professor of harmony, and in 1880, he began teaching composition. Some of his notable students include Paul Dukas and Claude Debussy.

Guiraud's main body of work consists of operas that were performed on the stages of Parisian theaters. One of his best-known operas is "Piccolino," which was premiered in 1876. He was also a close friend of Georges Bizet and after Bizet's death, Guiraud reworked the spoken dialogues of the opera "Carmen" into recitatives and composed a second suite from the music of the play "L'Arlésienne." He also orchestrated Jacques Offenbach's opera "The Tales of Hoffmann."

In addition to his compositions, Guiraud wrote a textbook titled "Traité pratique d'instrumentation" (Practical Course of Instrumentation) in 1892. The book was later revised and expanded by Henri Büsser in 1933 and became a widely used resource in the field of music education.