Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840- 1893)

By: Katherine Yi

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Early Life

Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia. His father's name was Ilya Petrovich and he was a magistrate. His mother's name was Alexandra who was very cold. Tchaikovsky loved his mother dearly. He had many siblings from the multiple marriages that his father had. When Tchaikovsky was 3, his mother found a French nanny name Fanny. His mother loved French culture so loved the idea of a French nanny. Fanny taught Tchaikovsky well and was a big influence on him. On a depressing note, when Tchaikovsky was 14, his mother passed away due to cholera. He was devastated because he adored his mother greatly.

School of Jurisprudence

Tchaikovsky went through a traumatic event at the School of Jurisprudence. When it was time for his mother to drop him off at his school, Tchaikovsky went crazy. As the carriage started to drive away, Tchaikovsky grabbed a hold of it and held onto it tightly not wanting to let his mother go. Eventually, the carriage gained speed and Tchaikovsky couldn't hold onto it any longer. Tchaikovsky was always haunted by this memory for his entire life.

Piano Concerto No. 1

Lang Lang plays Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Opus 23 [HD]
Tchaikovsky created Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1873 in Moscow Conservatory. He was not the best piano player so he decided to go to the head of Moscow Conservatory, Nikolay Rubinstein, to ask for his advice on his music piece. Rubinstein did not enjoy it at all saying that it was uneven and too hard to play. Tchaikovsky was very mad and decided not to dedicate the music piece to him. Instead, he dedicated Piano Concerto No. 1 to Hans von Bülow, a talented German pianist and conductor. Hans von Bülow performed it in Boston in 1875 and from then on it has become a very famous music piece done by Tchaikovsky.

Other Known Music

  • Swan Lake
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Nutcracker Suite

Tchaikovsky's Legacy

Tchaikovsky left a big impact on the world. He had many tragedies throughout his life but he kept on pushing through. He taught me that persistence is key when you are trying to achieve you goals in life. Tchaikovsky had to be persistent through the tough times or else he would not have been one of the most famous composers to this day. I believe that everyone should hear about Tchaikovsky's story because it can teach you a great value like it taught me.