Mily Alekseyevich Balakirev was born in Nizhniy Novgorod in 1837. He took lessons at the University of Kazana. When he was 18, he met with the composer Glinka in St. Petersburg. Balakirev influenced the five to go away from musical forms, and use Russian folk melodies as a basis for all of their works. Balakirev helped found the free school of Music in St. Petersburg. In 1969, Balakirev became the director of the Imperial Chapel and Imperial Music Society. His best works include the symphonic poems of Tamara and Russia, and the fantasia for the piano Islamey. He wrote many works for the piano and the voice.
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