Five, The

Five, The,

name of a group of late 19th-century Russian composers. They were BalakirevBalakirev, Mili Alekseyevich
, 1837–1910, Russian composer and conductor, leader of the group called the Five. He founded (1862) the Free School of Music in St. Petersburg and conducted (1867–69) the Russian Music Society and (1883–94) the Imperial Chapel Choir
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, the leader, CuiCui, César Antonovich
, 1835–1918, Russian composer and critic, a military engineer by profession. As a music critic in St. Petersburg and Paris, he championed the group of nationalist Russian composers known as The Five, consisting of Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev,
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, MoussorgskyMoussorgsky, Modest Petrovich
, 1839–81, Russian composer. His name is also transliterated as Mussorgsky and Musorgsky. He was one of the first to promote a national Russian style.
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, BorodinBorodin, Aleksandr Porfirevich
, 1833–87, Russian composer, chemist, and physician. He studied at the academy of medicine in St. Petersburg, where he later taught chemistry. He also helped found a school of medicine for women.
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, and Rimsky-KorsakovRimsky-Korsakov, Nicolai Andreyevich
, 1844–1908, Russian composer; one of the group of nationalist composers called The Five. He prepared himself for a naval career, but after meeting Balakirev in 1861 he turned seriously to composing.
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. These men, united by a nationalistic fervor, tried to write music of distinctively Russian character, drawing on the history, literature, and folklore of their country.


See V. I. Seroff, The Mighty Five (1948); M. O. Zetlin, The Five (tr. 1959).

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