William Sterling

Mily Balakirev

The Mighty Handful

The lives and music of Balakirev, Cui, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov examining how they came together and how their careers overlapped. In 1867 the critic Stasov wrote a review of the Pan-Slav concert organised by Mily Balakirev: “God grant that our Slavonic guests may never forget today’s concert; God grant that they may ever preserve the memory of how much poetry, feeling, talent and skill we have in our small but already might handful of Russian musicians” and thus the term was coined.

I ran this course at Crayford Manor (Bexley College) October-December 1998.

Balakirev Chronology

Below are the spreadsheets I created for this course comparing the five composers’ lives and works.

The Five Lives and Works