Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Alexander Borodin (1833-1837)
Respectable people do not write music or make love as a career.
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Borodin was born in St. Petersburg. He wrote his first musical composition at the age of nine. He later completed medical studies in Russia (qualified in 1856) before specializing in chemistry. Throughout his life music was subordinate to his work in St. Petersburg as a physician and chemist. His musical influences included Mendelssohn, Schumann and an acquaintance with Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Liszt and, Mily Balakirev. He embraced Russian nationalism based on Russian folksong. His early fame came from the short orchestral tone poem On the Steppes of Central Asia. His most important achievement was the opera Prince Igor.