Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev

Pronounced As: melyi lyiksyayvich blkryef

1. In the 2nd half of the 19th century, Blalkirev was the guiding spirit of a group of Russian ‘nationalist’ composers called the Moguchaya Koochka, literally "the mighty handful", but better known in English as the Mighty Five, which included César Cui, Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.

2. Balakirev was the only one of the group to begin as a professional musician.

3. best known for his piano music, which includes the brilliant virtuoso piece Islamey, and for his songs.

4. was particularly opposed to the establishment of Conservatories of Music in Russia by the Rubinstein brothers and was accused in turn of amateurism.

5. His success as a composer was intermittent, largely owing to his irascible personality and a tendency to make enemies as a result of his overwhelming enthusiasm and intolerance of other ideas.

6. He founded (1862) the Free School of Music in St. Petersburg

7. His works include the symphonic poems Tamara and Russ (or Russia)

8. His music combined romanticism with Russian and Caucasian folk songs; a piano fantasy, Islamey; incidental music for King Lear; and songs.

Word Count: 189

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