Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev (2 January 1837 [O.S. 21 December 1836] 29 May [O.S. 16 May] 1910) was a Russian pianist, conductor and composer. He is known today primarily for his work promoting nationalism in Russian music. Working in conjunction with critic Vladimir Stasov, Balakirev brought together the composers now known as The Five, encouraging their efforts and acting as a musical midwife both for them and for Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Balakirev became a pivotal figure in Russian music, extending and developing the fusion begun by Mikhail Glinka of traditional Russian and boldly experimental music. In doing so, he established musical patterns that could express overtly nationalistic feeling. He not only demonstrated in his own works how this could be done, but also by taking amateur musicians of prescribed musical education but enormous potential such as Modest Mussorgsky, Alexander Borodin and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, he imparted his own musical beliefs and passed them on to underlie the thinking of his pupils.