Balakirev, Mili Alekseyevich (meˈlyĭ əlyĭksyāˈyəvĭch bələkēˈryĕf) [key], 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 and Imperial Music Society. His works include the symphonic poems Tamara and Russ (or Russia ); a piano fantasy, Islamey; incidental music for King Lear; and songs. His music combined romanticism with Russian and Caucasian folk songs.
See study by E. Garden (1967).
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