- Glossary definition: The Five
The Five
(aka 'Mighty Handful')

A group of 19th-century Russian composers led by Balakirev, the other members being Borodin, Cui, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Their aim was to follow in Glinka's footsteps and create a distinctly Russian school of music. Formed in St Petersburg before the foundation of the Conservatory of Music by Anton Rubinstein in 1862, they were consequently all self-taught.