Modest Mussorgsky Biography
(Russian Composer Who was an Innovator of Russian Music in the Romantic Period)
Birthday: March 21, 1839 (Aries)
Born In: Karevo, Russia
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky was a renowned 19th century Russian composer, one of the members of the group of prominent composers known as "The Five". He was born into a noble family. Following his family tradition, he joined the Imperial Guard at the age of seventeen, but resigned two years later to devote his life to music. By then, he had begun to study music with Balakirev, also becoming close to Stasov, Cesar Cui, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Although he respected western music, his ambition was to achieve a Russian identity and often drew inspiration from Russian history, folklores, and other nationalist themes, slowly evolving an original and bold style. Unfortunately, due to an intense alcohol addiction and recurring nervous breakdowns, he could leave only a small body of work, a few of which were performed in his lifetime. After his death at the age of forty-two, many of his well-meaning friends edited and performed his works and for many years Mussorgsky’s works were known in such edited versions only. Later, many of his important works were discovered in their original form and published in a collected edition in 1928.