Guiraud, Ernest


French composer; born in New Orleans; was the son of Jean Baptiste Guiraud, who in 1827 had won the Grand Prize of Rome, and was an intimate friend of Bizet. Ernest's first opera, Le Roi David, was produced when the young composer was but fifteen, after which he entered the Paris Conservatory, studying piano under Marmontel, harmony under Barbereau, and composition under Halevy He took the second prize for piano in 1857, and first prize the next year, and in 1859 the Grand Prize of Rome with a cantata, Bajazet et le joueur de flute. From 1860 to 1863 he was in Rome, and on his return his opera, Sylvie, was produced at the Opera Comique, 1864. The next was En Prison, followed by Le Kobold; Madame Turpulin; Gretna Green, a ballet; and Piccolino. In 1872 he brought out a suite for orchestra at the Concerts Populaires, a work which established his position as one of the leading composers of the French School. In 1876 Guiraud was appointed professor of harmony and accompaniment at the Paris Conservatory, and in 1880 professor of composition. In 1878 he was decorated with the Cross of the Legion of Honor. The last opera of his composition produced during his lifetime, Galante Aventure, Opera Comique, 1882, was a failure; his Brunhilde, however, was re-edited by Saint-Saens under the title Fredegonde, and performed at the Grand Opera in 1895, with some measure of success. Parts of an unpublished opera, Le Feu, were also produced at the Concerts du Chatelet in 1879, where his overture, Arteveld, and several other orchestral works were performed at different times. He also wrote a work on orchestration.