Composer, conductor and pianist Russian. From 1855 he/she settled in Petersburgo, where he/she was a disciple of Glinka. In his work are influenced by Chopin, Schumann, Berlioz and Liszt. It was he/she who spread both in Russia and abroad the works of Glinka, and between 1866 and 1867, directed in Prague his operas the life for the Tsar and Russlan and Ludmila. Exerted a great influence on the evolution of Russian music to gather around him young Cui, Moussorgski, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin, forming all the so-called "group of five", whose aesthetic goal was to create a specifically Russian music from folklore. In 1862 was one of the founders in Petersburgo of a free school of music and, between 1867 and 1868, directed the symphonic concerts of the imperial Chapel.
Musical heir of Glinka, Balakirev was the most representative of the resurgence of Russian musical nationalism and also showed great interest in the Middle East, Spain and Slavic cultures. His orchestral compositions include Overture on a theme of Spanish March (1857), the symphonic poems in Bohemia and Tamara (1860-1882), an overture for the King Lehár (1859-1861), two symphonies, two suites (the second based on Chopin) and a piano concerto in f sharp minor. He/She also made numerous transcriptions of music by other composers for the piano. His most important works for piano are Islamey (1869), based on rhythms of dance of the Caucasus, and Sonata in b minor, begun in 1855 and completed in 1905. Like Chopin, he/she composed many Mazurkas, night waltzes and scherzos, a song of cradle and numerous short pieces. Their first songs appeared between 1855 and 1864, as goldfish song and song of Selim, and did not return to write more until 1895, among them a whisper, a shy breath and rest.