Rimsky-Korsakov belonged to the "school of five" of Russian composers who succeeded in bringing a strong Russian character into their music. He is a brilliant orchestrator, and his music exhibits a blend of romantic and impressionistic styles.
Born in Novgorod, Russia, in 1844, he became a Naval Officer, but was an active composer in his spare time. In 1871 he became professor of composition at St Petersburg Conservatory.
His most famous works include Capriccio Espagnole, Scheherazade Suite and the Golden Cockerel. He also did much orchestrating on the works of his friends, especially Night on Bare Mountain, by Mussorgsky. One of his pupils was Stravinsky, whose early work The Firebird was greatly influenced by Rimsky-Korsakov. He died at St Petersburg in 1908.