Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (also spelled Musorgsky, Moussorgsky Russian: Моде́ст Петро́вич Му́соргский, Modest Petrovič Musorgskij) (21 March [O.S. 9 March] 1839, Karevo – 28 March [O.S. 16 March] 1881, Saint Petersburg), one of the Russian composers known as
The Five, was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music.
Many of his works were inspired by Russian history, Russian folklore, and other nationalist themes. Such works include the opera Boris Godunov, the orchestral tone poem Night on Bald Mountain, and the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition.
For many years Mussorgsky's works were mainly known in versions revised or completed by other composers. Many of his most important compositions have recently come into their own in their original forms, and some of the original scores are now also available.