Balakirev, Mily Alekseyevich
- Stuart Campbell
( b Nizhniy Novgorod, 21 Dec 1836/2 Jan 1837; d St Petersburg, 16/29 May 1910). Russian composer, conductor, teacher and pianist .
Balakirev was the son of a minor government official. His musical education began with his mother’s piano tuition and proceeded to a course of summer lessons in Moscow with Aleksandr Dubuque. At that time the leading musical figure and patron in Nizhniy Novgorod (and author of books on Mozart and Beethoven) was Aleksandr Ulïbïshev, and it was through his household pianist and musical organizer Karl Eisrich that Balakirev’s induction to music, embracing the crucial discoveries of Chopin and Glinka, continued. Eisrich and Ulïbïshev provided Balakirev with further opportunities to play, read and listen to music, and to rehearse other musicians in orchestral and choral works, including, when he was 14, Mozart’s Requiem. His first surviving compositions date from the age of 15. Balakirev’s formal education began at the Gymnasium in Nizhniy Novgorod and continued after his mother’s death in ...