Mili Alexeivich Balakirev

Mili Alexeivich BalakirevMili Balakirev was born at Nijny Novogorod, Russia, January 2, (December 31, O.S.), 1836.

He received much help and instruction from Oulibishev, and at the age of eighteen went to St. Petersburg.

Glinka named Balakirev as his successor in the work of building up a national Russian school of musc when Balakirev was only twenty years old.

Around Balakirev there gathered a group of ardent enthusiasts, many of whom were older than himself. Among these were Cui, Moussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakoff and Borodin.

In 1862 Balakirev, with the assistance of Stassov, founded the Free School of Music of St. Petersburg, and in 1869 he became director of the Imperial Chapel and conductor of the Imperial Russian Musical Society.

Balakirev was a man of remarkable erudition, and while he had a thorough grasp of the classic forms, he seems to have guessed intuitively the advances which were being made by Wagner, Schumann and Berlioz, though their works had scarcely yet reached Russia.

His own compositions are comparatively few, but they are full of lyric sentiment, passion, and show profound command over technical resources.

For many years Balakirev lived in obscurity, taking refuge in the mysticism which absorbed the later years of Tolstoy, Gogol and Dostoievsky.

Mili Balakirev died May 29, 1910, in Saint Petersburg, Russia.