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 Pyotr Tchaikovsky


Born:   May 7, 1840
Deceased:   November 6, 1893

Russian composer, conductor, and teacher

      

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born (on April 25) on May 7, 1840 in the town of Votkinsk, a part of the Vyatka Province then. In 1852-1859 he was trained in the Imperial Law School and upon graduation got the rank of a titular counsellor (lowest civil rank in tsarist Russia) and started working in the Ministry of Justice. 


Pyotr Tchaikovsky became one of the first students of the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1862, graduated from it with a silver medal in 1865 and at once moved to Moscow, where he became a conservatory professor. 
 
He translated several treatises on music theory for teaching purposes and authored the textbook Guidance to Practical Study of Harmony (1872). From 1871 to 1876 he contributed as a music critic for the Russkiye Vedomosti and Sovremennaya Letopis newspapers, while standing for realistic principles in Russian music. 
 
During the same period Pyotr Tchaikovsky was actively engaged in creativity as well. In those years he created 3 symphonies, several orchestral compositions, including the overture Romeo and Juliette, the 1st concerto for piano with orchestra and Melancholic Serenade for violin with orchestra, 3 string quartets, the operas Voivode, Undine, Guardsman, Smith Vakula, the ballet Swan Lake, music for A.N. Ostrovsky's play The Snow Maiden, piano plays, romances and other works. 
 
In the late 1870s – early 1880s Pyotr Tchaikovsky traveled across Europe a lot and went on composing. From 1885 he got settled in Moscow area and resumed active music public work as the director of the Moscow branch of the Russian Music Association. A frequent visitor to Moscow and Petersburg, the composer participated in various projects of the Russian Music Association and the Moscow Conservatory, and the premiere of his opera Cherevichki in the Bolshoi Theater in 1887 became his debut in conducting. From 1887 to 1893 Pyotr Tchaikovsky conducted mostly his symphonic compositions and operas in Russia and abroad.
 
The composer gained world-wide fame with his ballets The Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, as well as operas Eugene Onegin, Queen of Spades, Maiden of Orleans, and others.
 
His creativity got high universal acclaim: Pyotr Tchaikovsky was elected a corresponding member of the Fine Arts Academy (France) in 1892, and conferred the Honourable Doctor ranks of the Cambridge University in 1893. 
 
October 16, 1893 saw the last performance of the great composer: he conducted the Sixth Symphony.
 
Pyotr Tchaikovsky died of cholera on November 6 (October 25), 1893 in St. Petersburg. The composer was laid to rest in the Masters of Arts Necropolis of Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
 
The greatest Russian composer, conductor, and music teacher left the heritage of 10 operas, 76 opuses, three ballets, 7 symphonies, and 4 suites.


Tags: Pyotr Tchaikovsky Russian Music    




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