Music: Air Force Wonder

Composers are seldom ordinary citizens, but Serge de Gastyne, 25, is extraordinary even among composers. He is 1) a count, 2) an Airman First Class,* assigned to write music for the Air Force, and 3) the composer of three symphonies.

Count de Gastyne, Marquis de St. Maur and Viscount de Montauriant, fought with the French underground in his teens, and in 1947 came to the U.S., where his dazzling piano-playing soon won him scholarship grants at the University of Portland and the Eastman School of Music. Between studies he took a flyer at salesmanship (encyclopedias), earned enough to finance a cross-country trip...

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