(Marie Hippolyte) Antoine (Antonin) Dessane. was an organist, pianist, cellist, teacher, composer. He was the second son of Louis Dessane, the author of a theory of music approved by Luigi Cherubini, and Marie Maurel, who came from a family of soldiers. Antoine's elder brother was his first teacher of composition. Another brother was to become the organist at St-Sulpice in Paris. Until 1837, Antoine received his musical education from his family. His father, who had been teaching since 1828 at the Jesuit college in Billom, in Auvergne, imposed a strict discipline on his son: at nine he was studying music nine hours a day. In 1837 the family left the Auvergne to live in Paris and a few months after his 10th birthday, he became one of the youngest students at the Paris Cons and was one of the few who became the favourites of its formidable director, Luigi Cherubini. Among his fellow students were César Franck and Jacques Offenbach. Dessane won two competitions at the conservatoire, one in cello and one in piano.