César Cui (1835-1918) was a Russian composer, music critic and military engineer.
Together with Mily Balakirev, Cesar Cui formed the nucleus of the "Mighty Handful" or "The Five". The other composers in this group, waging a war against the Europeanised academic establishment in St. Petersburg and the philistinism of the aristocratic society, were Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.
Like Schumann, his idol, Cui also had a career in journalism, and became the music critic for the leading St. Petersburg daily. His sometimes outrageously partisan essays were issued in book form as La musique en Russie (Paris, 1880).
As a composer, Cui is known chiefly as a miniaturist. The largest part of his music consists of songs and short chamber and piano pieces, in which one can note his fascination with Chopin, but also his ability to crystallize a particular mood or to express succinctly the sentiments of a poem.