Mily Balakirev

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Date of Birth January 2, 1837
Place of Birth Russia
Date of Death May 29, 1910 (73)
Horoscope Capricorn

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Mily Balakirev

Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor known today primarily for his work promoting musical nationalism and his encouragement of more famous Russian composers, notably Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He began his career as a pivotal figure, extending the fusion of traditional folk music and experimental classical music practices begun by composer Mikhail Glinka. In the process, Balakirev developed musical patterns that could express overt nationalistic feeling. After a nervous breakdown and consequent sabbatical, he returned to classical music but did not wield the same level of influence as before. In conjunction with critic and fellow nationalist Vladimir Stasov, in the late 1850s and early 1860s Balakirev brought together the composers now known as The Five – the others were Alexander Borodin, César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

About Mily Balakirev

Prominent and passionate advocate of Russian music who was supportive of many Russian composers, including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Before Fame

He continued the work of composer Mikhail Glinka by practicing the fusion of traditional folk music and experimental classical music.


He and critic Vladimir Stasov took several future notables under their tutelage as part of a group called The Five, including Alexander Borodin, César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Family Life

His family was impoverished, but his mother noticed her son's talents and began giving him lessons when he was four.


He and Anton Rubinstein were bitter rivals, both professionally and personally, disagreeing on musical techniques and preferences.

Information related to Mily Balakirev

  • The Five
  • Burials at Tikhvin Cemetery
  • Russian opera composers
  • Russian conductors (music)
  • Russian male classical composers
  • Russian classical pianists
  • 19th-century classical pianists
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Latest information about Mily Balakirev updated on July 13, 2020.

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