Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky 1840- 1893

By: Leah S

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Piotr's Early Life

Piotr was born on May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia. He lived in a bright yellow mansion at the water's edge. Piotr's family was not very interesting, but his grandfather was a faith healer. His father, Ilya Petrovich, was a influential citizen in Votkinsk. His mother, Alexandra, was Ilya's second wife and she was the one who brought music into Piotr's life. He had a half-sister, Zinaida, an older brother, Nikolay, a younger sister, Alexandra, a younger brother, Ippolit, and twin brothers, Modest and Anatol. Piotr was a very soft-hearted and sensitive boy. When Piotr was only three he began to show an interest in music. His nanny Fanny Dürback , a 22 year old French Protestant had a major impact on Piotr's life; she thought he was to into music for such a young boy.
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Thaikovsky's House

Tchaikovsky grew up in a bright yellow mansion at the end of water's edge. In this house lived all of his 6 other siblings, two parents, and nanny, Fanny. It was in this house that he became involved with music. His step-mother, Alexandra, brought music into his life by hosting musical soiree's in their home. Around the age of three Peter's parents had a pianist over at their house giving a concert for their guests. Peter insisted on siting by the piano and he played the Chopin mazurkas that the pianist had just played, from memory. Another time Peter was allowed to stay up late, but to the surprise of his parents, who thought he would be happy, when Fanny came to check on him he was crying because the music would not get out of his head.
Lang Lang plays Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Opus 23 [HD]

Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1

Tchaikovsky was not a virtuoso pianist. So for his first Piano concerto, Piano Concerto no. 1, he went to Nikolay Rubinstein to ask for his advice on writing his music. When Rubenstein first heard it he immediately disliked it, saying in was uneven and very hard to play. Tchaikovsky did not like this response so he decided not to dedicate his concerto to him. Instead he dedicated it to a German virtuoso, pianist, and conductor. From it being first played in 1875 by Hans von Bülow till now it has and is considered one of the most popular works Tchaikovsky has ever written.

Other Known Music

Piano Concerto #1

Swan Lake

1812 Overture

Romeo and Juliet

The Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky's Legacy

Tchaikovsky was a very soft-hearted and kind boy who grew up to be a kind and supportive friend. From rushing all the way from Russia to Paris for his friend, Nikolay Rubenstein's funeral, to hanging on the back of a moving wagon so he wouldn't have to leave his mom. Tchaikovsky died on October 25, 1823 and his last words were, " I have reached a very mature age without resting upon anything positive, without having calmed my restless spirit by either religion or philosophy. Undoubtedly I should have gone mad but for music... Perhaps there will be no music in heaven. Well, let us give our mortal life to it as long as it lasts." - Tchaikovsky


  • MrOsomatso. "Lang Lang plays Tchaikovsky." youtube. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.