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Alexis de Castillon

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Marie-Alexis de Castillon de Saint-Victor (13 December 1838 – 5 March 1873) was a French composer.
Son of an old family of the Languedoc nobility, he was born in Chartres and was initially intended by his parents for a military career. But Castillon gave up plans for professional soldiering in favour of music, which he learned first in his birthplace and then in Paris, studying piano and composition, initially with Charles Delioux. In this second capacity he went to the Paris Conservatoire where he attended the classes of Victor Massé and, from 1869, of César Franck. Before his studies with Franck, he had completed his Opus 1, a piano quintet, probably inspired by the earlier example of his friend Camille Saint-Saëns. Both the quintet and the later piano quartet Op. 7 follow Schumann's model. He disavowed earlier efforts, including a symphony in F major, which he had written in 1865.
In fragile health at the best of times (volunteering during the War of 1870, he fell ill and was demobilized in 1871), he died of complications from fever in 1873, before reaching the age of 35. He nevertheless composed several impressively Romantic works. These include pieces for piano, chamber music, mélodies, a piano concerto, and other orchestral music. He was also active in Parisian musical life, in particular helping to create, in 1871, the Société Nationale de Musique, of which he was the first secretary.