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(born Jan. 2, 1837, Nizhny Novgorod, Russiadied May 29, 1910, St. Petersburg) Russian composer. As a youth he met and was influenced by the nationalist composer Mikhail Glinka. Balakirev himself later became the mentor of César Cui (18351918) and Modest Mussorgsky; in 186162 their group expanded to become The Five. In 1862 Balakirev cofounded the Free School of Music. His works include two symphonies, the piano fantasy (1869), music for (185861), and a piano concerto. With his colourful imagination and use of folk themes, he was perhaps the most influential proponent of Russian nationalism. After a nervous breakdown in 1871, he adopted a fervent and bigoted form of Orthodoxy and was thereafter involved in musical life only sporadically.
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