Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev was a Russian pianist, conductor and composer known today primarily for his work promoting musical nationalism and his encouragement of more famous Russian composers, notably Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He began his career as a pivotal figure, extending the fusion of traditional folk music and experimental classical music practices begun by composer Mikhail Glinka. In the process, Balakirev developed musical patterns that could express overt nationalistic feeling. After a nervous breakdown and consequential sabbatical, he returned to classical music but did not wield the same level of influence as before.
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