Alexander Borodin

Born: 1833
Died: 1887

For a full-time professional scientist to compose works of such originality and beauty as the Polovtsian Dances (from Prince Igor) and the String Quartet No 2 is a minor miracle. Borodin’s first published work was not a song or a sonata but a paper, ‘On the Action of Ethyl Iodide on Hydrobenzamide and Amarine’. His first tour of Europe was not as a concert pianist but for scientific study.

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