Russia's musical vitality during the 19th century is mainly due to the work of Mikhail Glinka, the first Russian composer of international fame. His influence quickly extends to the Group of Five, made up of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky, Mili Balakirev, César Cui and Alexandre Borodin. In spite of a predilection for ballet music and piano, the Russian repertoire also offers milestones of symphonic and operatic music, as the work of Tchaikovsky demonstrates.
During the 20th century, the appearance of composers like Scriabin, Prokofiev and Shostakovich boosts the reputation of Russian music as an art of avant-garde. Their scores are performed by a generation of virtuoso musicians, including Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Horowitz, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Guilels and David Oïstrakh, followed by Valery Gergiev, Daniil Trifonov, Tugan Sokhiev, Anna Netrebko, Nikolai Lugansky and Vladimir Jurowski.