Alexander Borodin


Artist Birtday : 12/11/1833 (Age 54)
Born In : Saint Petersburg, Russia
Occupation(s) : composer, chemist, doctor, profesor and academic
Genres : symphony, opera, chamber music and solo singing
Web Site :

Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin was a Russian composer, chemist, doctor, professor and academic of the Medical-Surgical Academy and Head of its Chemical Laboratory. He wrote a few musical works with historical themes. It is well known that his aim was to express the dramatic history of the Russian nation in his musical works. Alexander Borodin was not a proffesional musician and his works have the mark of an original Master, who was equally good at symphony, opera, chamber music and solo singing.

Alexander  Borodin had written 3 symphonies, the second is well known as “Bogatyr” and one symphonic picture, called “In the Steppes of Central Asia”. In 1869 he had started working on “Prince Igor” opera, which he hadn’t finished during his lifetime, the opera had been completed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov. The famous Polovtsian Dances are performed in the opera. “Prince Igor”‘s  first time on stage was in 1890.

Alexander Borodin was born on 12 November 1833 in Saint Petersburg as an illegitimate child of the Georgian Prince Luka Gedevanishvili and 25 years-old Evdokia Konstantinovna Antonova, but Alexander was recorded as a son of a serf servant Porfirii Yonovich Borodin and his wife Tatyana Grigorievna. Since his early childhood, Alexander Borodin had versatile interests. Especially for Natural Science such as Chemistry, Literature, and Music. Also, he played violoncello, piano, and flute. Alexander Borodin had been reading a lot at this period of his life. Between 1850 and 1856 he had been studying at the Medical-Surgical Academy. During his study, he had stopped his musical activities. In 1858 Borodin had received a degree of Doctor of Medicine at the same Academy. A huge influence on his musical and scientific progress was the 3-years living abroad – Heidelberg and Pisa. The year when he came back home brought him success not only as a scientist, but also as a composer.

 Alexander Borodin was naturally gifted with knowledge as an instrumentalist of violoncello, piano, and flute. He had been doing his musical education during his Chemistry studying. In 1858 he became a member of the Balakirev circle. His first symphony brought him worldwide fame. Borodin made fantastic songs as “Sea”, “False Note”, “Sleeping Princess”. In 1869 he had started working on 2 symphonies. The first one was called “Finished” and the second was named by Vladimir Stasov as “Bogatyr”. Also in 1869 Borodin had started working on “Prince Igor”, which he had been doing by the end of his life. “Prince Igor” is one of the most significant operas of the Russian classics. Meanwhile, he had done other works, most known as String Quartet No 1 and String Quartet No2 and in 1880 – “In the Steppes of Central Asia”. Alexander Borodin is one of the Russian composers, who is very popular abroad. After the stagging of “Bogatyr” in France, Borodin was named as a great symphonist.

Alexander Borodin is one of the most remarkable composers of the Russian classic. He was a member of the Balakirev circle, mostly known as The Mighty Handful. Despite the fact that he was a Chemist Scientist, Borodin had found time to work side by side Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, who formed a new era in the Russian classic. Borodin didn’t have many works – around 20, including songs. His creative work has been measured not by quantity, but by quality.

Alexander Borodin died on 27 February 1887 in Saint Petersburg. He was buried in  Tikhvin Cemetery.

Alexander Borodin
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