Borodin, Alexander

Alexander Borodin, Russian chemist and composer, 1833-1887

A doctor and chemist by profession and training, Borodin made important early contributions to organic chemistry. As a chemist, Borodin is known best for his work concerning organic synthesis. Although he is presently known better as a composer, during his lifetime, he regarded medicine and science as his primary occupations. He was one of the prominent 19th-century composers known as "The Mighty Handful", a group dedicated to producing a uniquely Russian kind of classical music, rather than imitating earlier Western European models. Borodin is known best for his symphonies, his two string quartets, the symphonic poem "In the Steppes of Central Asia" and his opera "Prince Igor".