Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky(1840-1893)

By Noah Kandel

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Tchaikovsky's Life

Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840 in the foot hills of the Ural mountains in Russia. Tchaikovsky dad was Ilya Petrovich and his mom his dads second wife was named Alexandra. Alexandra was the one who brought music into the family. Tchaikovsky loved his mother but his mother was cold and distant. Tchaikovsky had a half-sister Zinaida, an older brother, Nikolay, a younger sister Alexandra, a younger brother Ippolit and twin brothers Modest and Anatol. Tchaikovsky composed his first song when he was four with help from his younger sister. Their simple song was called Our mama in St. Petersburg. In 1848 Tchaikovsky family moved to St. Petersburg. Tchaikovsky did not like it there. one of the most traumatic events of Tchaikovsky life, his mother dropped him off at boarding school and he didn't like it at all when he got out of the carriage he started crying and grabbed on to the carriage until it shook him off. Tchaikovsky spent two years in the school and even got good grades. But soon tragedy struck. In 1854 Tchaikovsky's mom died. Music was important part of Tchaikovsky's schooling. He played piano and even sang in choir. This is when he wanted to be a composer. In 1874 Tchaikovsky wrote an opera called The Oprichnik which was a huge success.In 1875 he accepted a job from a musical magazine called the Nuvellist. He composed a series of twelve piano pieces and called it The Seasons. In 1876 a women by the name of Madame Nadezhda von Meck. She adored Tchaikovsky's work. Madame commissioned him to compose something for her. In response Tchaikovsky wrote Fourth Symphony in F minor in her name. Madame was so happy she started to lend him money. They had a rather weird friendship as well. Madame and Tchaikovsky barely meet face to face they just exchanged letters. in 1890 Madame ended the money and letter exchange for no reason. She even lied about being bankrupt!Tchaikovsky composed many songs and composed several genres like operas, ballets, orchestral music, fantasy overtures, chamber music, piano music, and vocal music. Unfortunately, in 1893 Tchaikovsky died. After he died he left behind a legacy we will always remember.
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake - The Kirov Ballet

Swan Lake

The video above is the ballet Tchaikovsky composed in 1877. Surprisingly, Swan Lake was not a success. The dancers said the music was to hard to dance to. the ballet was not popular until after Tchaikovsky died.
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Tchaikovsky's home

The map above is a map of Russia Tchaikovsky's childhood home. Tchaikovsky lived in the foothills of the Ural mountains in Russia. Tchaikovsky, as a boy displayed great compassion for the country. He believed that Russia was the best country in the world while other countries were inferior.

Tchaikovsky's music

  • Romeo and Juliet (a music version)
  • Piano Concerto No.1
  • Swan Lake (ballet)
  • Fourth symphony

A funny story

When Tchaikovsky was a boy he had a nanny named Fanny. One day Fanny caught Tchaikovsky in his room with an atlas. Tchaikovsky was kissing Russia and spitting on all the other countries. Fanny told him people lived in those countries and that she was from France. Tchaikovsky said "Didn't you see I was covering France with my arm."
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 17 Dec 2015.

P I Tchaikovsky - portrait of Russian composer.. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 17 Dec 2015.