The Weekday Chemist: The Training of Aleksandr Borodin

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Aleksandr Porfir’evich Borodin (1833-1887) is most commonly recognized today as one of Russia’s most distinguished musical composers, a member of the so-called Mighty Five. He spent his entire career, however, as professor of chemistry at the Medico-Surgical Academy in St. Petersburg. This essay traces Borodin’s biography, and explores the historiographical and personal clashes between his musical and scientific “careers.” Instead of essentializing one of these careers as the “true” one, it argues instead for a focus on Borodin’s preoccupation with proper training in both the sciences and in music.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArchimedes
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1385-0180
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0064

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy


  • Lionel Trilling
  • Musical Activity
  • Musical World
  • Orchestral Music
  • Russian School


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