Georges Bizet was a French composer of the romantic era best known for his opera Carmen. Bizet was born October 25 1838 in Paris France to Adolphe Bizet and Aimée Delstarte. Adolphe was a hairdresser and later a singing teacher (even though he lacked formal training). Aimée, on the other hand, came from a musical family. Her brother was a renowned singer and teacher and he performed in the courts of both Louis Phillippe and Napoleon III; his wife was a musical prodigy; and Aimée herself was very accomplished at the piano. Aimée taught Bizet musical notation and gave him piano lesson when he was very young, and he also was able to memorize and accurately sing difficult songs by listening to his father’s lessons. As a result, Bizet’s parents were convinced that he was skilled enough to study at the Conservatoire de Paris despite being nine years old and the minimum age for the Conservatoire was ten. After Bizet’s interview with one of the members of a Conservatoire’s Committee of Study, they we so impressed by Bizet’s skills and talent that an exception was made and Bizet was admitted. In the Conseravtoire Bizet made a large impression and rapid progress – within the first six months he had already won first prize. This greatly impressed Pierre-Joseph-Guillaume Zimmerman, a professor of piano, so he gave Bizet private lessons. Bizet also received lessons from the composer Charles Gounod, and became friends with Camille Saint-Saëns. Bizet wrote his first symphony by the age of 17 and in 1857 he won the Prix de Rome. Bizet spent two years in Rome. When Bizet ran out of the money from his Prix de Rome he found that his earnings from his composition were not sufficient so he began to teach as well. He also arranged the works of other composers. In 1872 Bizet received an assignment from Léon Carvalho to write music for Alphonse Daudet’s play L’Arlésienne. The play and music, however, were unpopular and the play closed after only 21 performances. Bizet, however, salvaged his music and by choosing and arranging different sections into a four movement concert suite. The fourth and final movement of the suite is the Farandole. Bizet died June 3 1875 when he was 36 years old. I enjoyed reading Bizet’s Farandole in class as it is a nice and energetic melody. In addition, I am very fond of the music from Bizet’s Carmen, so I thought is was interesting to play and hear one of his other pieces. I found that when we played it the the band it was definitely more enjoyable as they filled in what the string orchestra was missing. Without the band, the piece would have been incomplete. Playing Bizet’s music was definitely an interesting experience.