Lecocq was born in Paris, where he was admitted into the Conservatoire in 1849, being already an accomplished pianist. He studied under François Bazin, François Benoist, and Fromental Halévy, winning the first prize for harmony in 1850, and the second prize for fugue in 1852. He first gained notice by sharing with Georges Bizet the first prize for an operetta in a competition instituted by Jacques Offenbach.

posted by francopoli: 135 days ago