Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev (1837- 1910) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor known today primarily for his work promoting musical nationalism and his encouragement of more famous Russian composers, notably Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In conjunction with critic and fellow nationalist Vladimir Stasov, in the late 1850s and early 1860s Balakirev brought together the composers now known as 'The Five' ('The Mighty Handful') - the others were Alexander Borodin, César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Among his compositions are symphonies, orchestral pieces, chamber music and many works for piano. In 1859 he composed the 'Polka in F-sharp minor' for piano. This polka became quite popular and is now arranged for Symphonic Band by Gregor Kovacic.