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November 12 is Alexander Borodin's Birthday

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
/
SC Public Radio

  Today is the birthday of the composer Alexander Borodin. Borodin was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1833, and he became famous as one of the group of nationalistic Russian composers known as "The Five," a group that also included Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Borodin's best-known piece is undoubtedly the Polovestian Dances, from his opera, Prince Igor, and Prince Igor acquired a whole new public in the 1950s when its music was borrowed for the Broadway musical, Kismet. What's particularly fascinating about Borodin is that composing wasn't even his profession, it was his avocation. By profession, he was a scientist, a chemist, and in fact a very distinguished one who mad a number of important contributions to the field. Borodin was also a pioneer in the field of women's rights and women's education, and he was a founder of the School of Medicine for Women in St. Petersburg.

This has been A Minute with Miles--a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.