Alexander Porfir'yevich Borodin (born St Petersburg November 12 1833; died St. Petersburg February 27 1887) was a Russian composer. Like many Russian composers of the 19th century he was an amateur musician. His main job was Professor of Chemistry at the University of St Petersburg. He had to compose in his spare time. He used to tell his friends: “Please do not say: ‘I hope you are well’, please say: ‘I hope you are ill’”. When he was ill he had more time to write music. Borodin’s most famous opera is called Prince Igor. He wrote many fine songs, chamber music and orchestral music, including two symphonies. The Nocturne from his String quartet no 2 is especially well-known.