The Mighty Five

Ref: C3741561

This 10 week course will explore the exciting and colourful music of the 'Mighty Five' group of Russian late 19th-early 20th century composers (Cui, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov), discovering their diverse characters and works - symphonies, symphonic poems, chamber and piano works, operas and ballet music.

Course aim

This course will explore the diverse, exciting and colourful music of the 'Mighty Five' group of Russian late 19th-early 20th century composers.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the cultural context in 19th century Tsarist Russia from which the "Mighty Five" and their works spring.
  • Identify the diverse personalities, careers and compositions of these five distinctive composers.
  • Appreciate more and enjoy listening to the music of the "Mighty Five [Handful]" and explain features of their music utilising the knowledge gained on this course.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Online Reference Library resources (see: Kent Libraries online website: "Online Reference Library" > "Arts and Music"): Naxos Music Library (an extensive online collection of music recordings)

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course outline

The Mighty Five Course Outline

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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