Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky ♫

1840-1893

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Tchaikovsky's Early Life

Peter Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840, in the city of Votkinsk. He grew up in a large extended family. His parents Ilya and Alexandra were among the upper class wealthy families. He had many sisters and brothers, including half siblings from his father's first marriage. They lived on a very large estate, and Peter even had his own nanny named Fanny Dürback, a 22 year old French Protestant. Peter's mother was responsible for bringing music into their lives, but she was a very cold and a non-affectionate woman. Growing up, Peter was a sensitive and shy young boy, with an obsession with music.
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Tchaikovsky's Estate

Located in Votkinsk, this estate employed many serfs, and even had its' own army of 100 Cossacks. HIs father was a magistrate, and his mother desperately wanted to move to St. Petersburg. The sound of music played all throughout this large estate by Peter. Soon, his parents hired a piano teacher, but Peter was far more talented than the tutor. In November 1848, the family moved from this estate to St. Petersburg. They enrolled the children at school there. At 10 years old, Peter started preparatory school.
Lang Lang plays Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Opus 23 [HD]

Tchaikovsky's Music

Tchaikovsky is best known for his music compositions written for famous ballet's, like The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Swan Lake. In the video clip above, you can watch one of Tchaikovsky's well known pieces called "Piano Concerto No. 1", performed by an orchestra. He wrote many musical pieces based on his life experiences. In September 1868, he fell in love with an opera singer who broke his heart. He composed a piece dedicated to her called Romance in F. In 1875, Tchaikovsky made money by composing for a musical magazine called Nuvellist. In December 1876, Madame Nadezhda Von Meck entered Peter's life. She loved Tchaikovsky's compositions, and became his best friend. Being very wealthy, she financially supported Peter's and his music. Tchaikovsky dedicated Fourth Symphony in F Minor Madame Von Meck. Peter had many great compositions. Most were dedicated to people close to him or who had an influence on his life. There were many composers who followed Tchaikovsky's work and honored him.

List of Music Compositions

  • Romance in F
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • 1812 Overture
  • Nutcracker Suite
  • Swan Lake
  • The Maid of Orleans
  • The Queen of Spades
  • Piano Concerto No. 1

Fun Facts!

There are some fun facts many do not know about Peter. For example, Tchaikovsky use to drum his fingers all throughout their estate so hard, that he actually managed to break a window! Also, when he was a young boy, he was haunted by the memory of his mother's very unusually "large, but beautiful hands". He loved his mother very much and was very close to her. Even though she was not an affectionate mother. In fact, Tchaikovsky was devastated by the death of his mother in 1854. This was one of the most traumatic events in Peter's life. Another fun fact was that Tchaikovsky loved Russia so much, that he would kiss Russia on the map, but would spit on the other countries. His Fanny scolded him!

Citations

  1. "Bing." Tchaikovsky. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.

  2. "Bing." Tchaikovskys Home. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.

  3. "Citation Machine: MLA Format Citation Generator for Websites." Citation Machine: MLA Format Citation Generator for Websites. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.

  4. "Lang Lang Plays Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Opus 23 [HD]." YouTube. YouTube, 13 Sept. 2014. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.