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Mikhail Glinka

Considered by many subsequent Russian composers as the father of modern Russian music, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (June 1, 1804 - February 15, 1857) was something of an unlikely hero. An aristocrat and a dilettante, he became a determined reformer of Russian music through his passion for Italian and French culture. His operas, though Russian in subject, used Italian and French operatic practice and forms as models on which to build. Glinka was born in Novospasskoye in the district of Smolensk, and spent much of his early childhood living with his maternal grandmother whose smothering affection seems to have aggravated the boy's already Sensitive nature. From infancy Glinka demonstrated a remarkable affinity for musical sounds; living on his father's estate he developed a love for the local folk music which remained with him for life.