Russian Composers

Russia has given the world a great number of composers whose musical creations are known across the globe.


Perhaps one of the best-known Russian composers is Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840—1893). His works include symphonies, operas, and ballets and are amongst the most popular concert and theatrical music in the classical repertoire. Tchaikovsky was the first among Russian composers whose music made a lasting impression internationally.


Also known internationally are the Five—a circle of Russian composers comprised of Mily Balakirev (1837—1910), Cesar Cui (1835—1918), Modest Mussorgsky (1839—1881), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844—1908) and Alexander Borodin (1833—1887). Besides being well known individually, these Russian composers aimed at producing a specifically Russian kind of music rather than imitating European styles.


The first Russian composer to gain wide recognition within Russia was Mikhail Glinka (1804—1857), considered by many as the father of Russian classical music. Glinka’s “The Patriotic Song” was used as Russia’s national anthem from 1990 to 2000.