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Halevy, Jacques Francois Elias

Halevy, Jacques Francois Elias (1799-1862),. a French musical composer of Jewish extraction (his real name was Levi) was born at Paris. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Cherubini and in 1819 gained the "Grand Prix de Rome," after which he went to Rome. His first operas produced in Paris were not successful, but Clari (1828), in which Malibran sang, made him known, though the ballet Manon Lescaut was the first of his works which really attracted the public. In 1835, however, in which La Juive was given, his name became famous. L'Eclair, a musical comedy (1835), showed him to have capacity for lighter music. As a professor at the Conservatoire he had Gounod and Bizet among his pupils. In 1854 he became secretary of the Academie des Beaux-Arts, and published the eloges he had to pronounce there in Souvenirs et Portraits (1861).