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Pyotr (Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840, in Votkinsk, Vyatka region, Russia.

He was the second of six children (five brothers and one sister). His father, named Ilya Chaikovsky, was a mining business executive in Votkinsk. His father's ancestors were from Ukraine and Poland. His mother, named Aleksandra Assier, was of Russian and French ancestry. Tchaikovsky played piano since the age of 5, he also enjoyed his mother's playing and singing. He was a sensitive and emotional child, and became deeply traumatized by the death of his mother of cholera, in 1854. At that time he was sent to a boarding school in St. Petersburg. He graduated from the St. Petersburg School of Law in 1859, then worked for 3 years at the Justice Department of Russian Empire. In 1862-1865 he studied music under Anton Rubinstein at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 1866-1878 he was a professor of theory and harmony at the Moscow Conservatory. At that time he met Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz, who visited Russia with concert tours. During that period Tchaikovsky wrote his first ballet 'The Swan Lake', opera 'Eugene Onegin', four Symphonies, and the brilliant Piano Concerto No1. As a young man Tchaikovsky suffered traumatic personal experiences. He was sincerely attached to a beautiful soprano, named Desiree Artot, but their engagement was destroyed by her mother and she married another man. His homosexuality was causing him a painful guilt feeling. In 1876 he wrote to his brother, Modest, about his decision to "marry whoever will have me." One of his admirers, a Moscow Conservatory student Antonina Ivanovna Milyukova, was persistently writing him love letters. She threatened to take her life if Tchaikovsky didn't marry her. Their brief marriage in the summer of 1877 lasted only a few weeks and caused him a nervous breakdown. He even made a suicide attempt by throwing himself into a river. In September of 1877 Tchaikovsky separated from Milyukova. She eventually ended up in an insane asylum, where she spent over 20 years and died. They never saw each other again. Although their marriage was terminated legally, Tchaikovsky generously supported her financially until his death. Tchaikovsky was ordered by the doctors to leave Russia until his emotional health was restored. He went to live in Europe for a few years. Tchaikovsky settled together with his brother, Modest, in a quiet village of Clarens on Lake Geneva in Switzerland and lived there in 1877-1878. There he wrote his very popular Violin Concerto in D. He also completed his Symphony No.4, which was inspired by Russian folk songs, and dedicated it to Nadezhda von Meck. From 1877 to 1890 Tchaikovsky was financially supported by a wealthy widow Nadezhda von Meck, who also supported Claude Debussy. She loved Tchaikovsky's music and became his devoted pen-friend. They exchanged over a thousand letters in 14 years; but they never met, at her insistence. In 1890 she abruptly terminated all communication and support, claiming bankruptcy. Tchaikovsky played an important role in the artistic development of Sergei Rachmaninoff. They met in 1886, when Rachmaninov was only 13 years old, and studied the music of Tchaikovsky under the tutelage of their mutual friend, composer Aleksandr Zverev. Tchaikovsky was the member of the Moscow conservatory graduation board. He joined many other musicians in recommendation that Rachmaninov was to be awarded the Gold

In 1888-1889.1877) (annulled) Trade Mark (4) Extremely difficult flute orchestral parts (due to his own skill in the instrument) Generous use of stringed instruments Colorful orchestration His music often has a melancholy tone to it Trivia (15) Born at 6:40am-LMT Was supported financially by Nadezhda von Meck. Hamburg. 1893. Russia.6 in St. The Hall had been under construction for 7 years. Petersburg. on the 16th of October. Leipzig. Schalcosky . reused some of the material for other works. beginning on 5 May 1891.500 for 6 concerts in 5 days to inaugurate New York City's Carnegie Hall.IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov Spouse (1) Antonina Ivanovna Milyukova (6 July 1877 .5 and No. Paris. appearing in Prague. where he gave concerts in New York. he made a successful conducting tour of Europe. In May of 1891 Tchaikovsky was the conductor on the official opening night of Carnegie Hall in New York. In 1891. He was laid to rest in the Necropolis of Artists at St. He was a friend of Edvard Grieg and Antonín Dvorák. he went on a two month tour of America. . Was thought to have died of cholera as a result of carelessly drinking unboiled water. Died only days after conducting the premiere of his sixth symphony. for 13 years. He was paid $2. Petersburg. and London.Medal in 1892. operas 'The Queen of Spades' and 'Iolanta'.6. Tchaikovsky himself conducted the premiere of his Symphony No. suicide by poison has also been suggested. Had actually written an earlier sixth symphony (since reconstructed and published as Symphony #7) in 1891 and became dissatisfied with it. a wealthy widow whom he never met. Russia. In 1892 he heard Gustav Mahler conducting his opera 'Eugene Onegin' in Hamburg. opera 'Aleko'. Later Tchaikovsky was involved in popularization of Rachmaninov's graduation work. Is the great-great-greatUncle of John D. ballets 'The Sleeping Beauty' and 'The Nutcracker'. A week later he died of cholera after having a glass of tap water. and Philadelphia. Baltimore. Visited the United States in the spring of 1891 and participated in the opening of Carnegie Hall in New York City. In 1883-1893 Tchaikovsky wrote his best Symphonies No. Aleksandr Nevsky Monastery in St. Upon Tchaikovsky's promotion Rachmaninov's opera "Aleko" was included in the repertory and performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

In 1944 the entire work was staged in the U. Perhaps anticipating this. but only in San Francisco. and during it he participated in the opening and inaugural concert at New York City's Carnegie Hall. beginning in 1965. and is now one of the great American Christmas traditions. Personal Quotes (2) I am a Russian through and through.S. for the first time. now his most beloved composition.S. piano. 1840. and the "Pathetique" Symphony--are probably more recognizable to the average concertgoer than any other classical pieces of music except for the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and the final section from Gioachino Rossini's "William Tell Overture" (the socalled "Lone Ranger" theme). choreographer George Balanchine staged the complete work in New York City. in mono. It was soon re-recorded in stereo. rather than "The Nutcracker".Idolised composer Robert Schumann. He is probably the most famous and beloved Russian composer to have ever lived. Tchaikovsky's birth date is usually given as May 7. the "Slavic March". That same year the entire work was recorded for the first time. His 1891 visit to the U.] I am convinced I am ten times more famous in America than at home. He was actually born on April 25. the "Piano Concerto No. His ballet "The Nutcracker". In 1957 it was first presented on television in heavily abridged form. the complete "Nutcracker" began to be performed in other cities throughout the U. and then in 1958 in a more complete production. and for years it eclipsed the popularity and acceptance of the complete ballet. the ballets "The Nutcracker". its correct title. a 20-minute selection of eight numbers from the ballet. Finally. For this reason. the complete work is sometimes mistakenly called "The Nutcracker Suite". the "Capriccio Italien". Was equally talented in playing the flute. recorded by virtually every conductor who ever became famous. [during his 1891 visit to the U. His best known compositions--among them the "1812 Overture". but this is only if one follows the New Style Russian calendar. In 1954. however. his contemporary rival. and conducting. the "Romeo and Juliet" Fantasy-Overture. was not a critical success in Russia when first staged in 1892. It has been recorded complete and presented on television many times since then. The suite became enormously popular in Russia as well as throughout the world. but shared an enmity with Johannes Brahms. . in advance of the ballet's opening.S. During his lifetime most of his works were far more successful in other countries than they were in Russia. was wildly successful.1".S. he had already premiered "The Nutcracker Suite". "Swan Lake" and "The Sleeping Beauty".