Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was a member of the group of Russian composers called The Five or The Mighty Handful (Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Cui) who were dedicated to producing a specifically Russian kind of art music. He described himself as a "Sunday composer" - during the weeks he made a living as a chemist.
Borodin is best known for his symphonies and his opera Prince Igor, which contains his most famous single piece of music, the "Polovetzian dance".
He died suddenly from heart failure during a ball, apparently participating in the festivities very vigorously. Of interest for pianists are a piano trio (lacking the fourth and final movement) and a piano quintet, as well as the Petite Suite and Scherzo, which have both been orchestrated by Glazunov.