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Modeste Mussorgsky

Born in Karevo, Russia, in 1839, Modest Mussorgsky is considered one of the most original and influential of the 19th-century Russian nationalist composers. His mother gave him piano lessons, and at age nine he played a piano concerto by John Field before an audience in his parents' house. In 1852, at age 13, he was enrolled in a military academy in St. Petersburg and entered the Russian army in 1856. During this time he sustained his interest in music although he had not yet studied harmony or composition In 1857 he joined a circle of Russian nationalist composers, from whom he received instruction in composition.