Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Created By: Maria Khakbaz

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Tchaikovsky's Life

Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840, in the town of Votkinsk. He was the second eldest of his parents' six surviving offspring. Tchaikovsky's parents were, Alexandra and Ilya Petrovich. When he was just 5 years old, Tchaikovsky began taking piano lessons. Fanny Dürbach, a 22-year old French governess employed in this family taught Pyotr Tchaikovsky to be fluent in French and German by the age of six. In fact, she also saved much of Tchaikovsky's musical works from this period, In 1850 Tchaikovsky entered the prestigious Imperial School of Jurisprudence in St. Petersburg, a boarding institution for young boys, where he spent nine years.However, Tchaikovsky's parting from his mother to attend boarding school and her untimely death from cholera in 1854 caused a severe emotional trauma that haunted him most of his life.

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Votkinsk lies along the Votka River. Votkinsk was founded in 1759 and became a city in 1935. It is famous chiefly as the birthplace of the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, whose home is preserved as a museum. Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk on May 7th, 1840.
Lang Lang plays Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Opus 23 [HD]

Piano concerto No.1

Tchaikovsky composed his Piano Concerto No. 1 during an intensive period of composition at the end of 1874, with the orchestrations then written in the February of the following year. However, after this very productive period, Tchaikovsky evidently wasn’t happy: the work was updated some four years later and then revised again as late as 1889.


  • Tchaikovsky / Portr.Photo / c.1890. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 16 Dec 2015.
  • "Votkinsk | Russia." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2006. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.

  • "Lang Lang Plays Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Opus 23 [HD]." YouTube. YouTube, 13 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.

  • "Votkinsk Udmurt Republic Russia." Google Maps. Google. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.

Other Tchaikovsky works

  • Swan lake
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • The Nutcracker
  • 1812 Overture

Interesting facts

  • His ballets are the world’s most popular ballets. And ‘The Nutcracker’ is performed all over the UK around Christmas time.
  • The ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ from ‘The Nutcracker’ is famous for using an instrument that was very new at the time—the celeste. This looks like a small piano and makes a tinkly sound
  • Although the 1812 Overture is very popular, Tchaikovsky didn’t really like it!
  • There is a bit of a mystery about how Tchaikovsky died. Some say he died of cholera, while others say he killed himself.