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Born: 1839, Karevo, RussiaDied: 1881, St. Petersburg, RussiaPeriod: Romantic

Mussorgsky led a turbulent life – his musical training was haphazard, he moved around frequently, and he left some of his most important works unfinished when he died from an infection brought on by alcoholism at the age of 42. As a member of the Mighty Five, a group of composers devoted to pioneering a Russian musical voice, Mussorgsky belongs among the musical nationalists of the late 19th century. He especially excelled as a composer of dramatic music for the voice, as his operas and songs confirm.

Selected works:

Khovanshchina (The Khovansky Affair, opera, 1872-80)

Pictures from an Exhibition (solo piano, 1874)

The Nursery (song cycle, 1872)

Boris Godunov (opera, 1874)

Songs and Dances of Death (song cycle, 1875-77)