Peter Tchaikovsky

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Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky is one of the most famous Russian composers. Born in May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk, Tchaikovsky was the second son of a mining engineer. His musical interests were supported by his parents and he was given piano lessons at the age of five. Three years later, the family moved from Votkinsk to Moscow to St. Petersburg due to the father's unsteady jobs. The move proved to be a significant milestone in Tchaikovsky's life; it had set the course for Tchaikovsky's progress into the musical world and his successes. From September of 1850 to May of 1859, Tchaikovsky attended the School of Jurisprudence, a boarding school in St. Petersburg where he received an excellent education and further pursued his interest in music. During this time, he continued piano lessons with Rudolf Kundinger, a well known piano teacher, and Luigi Piccioli, an Italian master. Both teachers profoundly influenced Tchaikovsky, especially Piccioli who was one of the first to recognize his talent. Piccioli influenced Tchaikovsky's admiration towards Rossini, Bellino, and Donizetti who were popular Italian opera composers. Also at the boarding school, signs of Tchaikovsky's homosexuality became apparent, although throughout his life, his homosexuality was kept quiet for the risk of a scandal. After graduation, Tchaikovsky began to work as a civil servant in the Ministry of Justice while also discovering a social life filled with theater, ballets, and operas. But then in 1862, Tchaikovsky enrolled in the St. Petersburg Conservatory, resigning from the Ministry of Justice to focus on music. He studied theory and composition, piano, flute and organ under his principal teachers, Anton Rubinstien and Nikolai Zaremba. He also began to give private piano lessons of his own and composing his first few works such as Characteristic Dances that was conducted by Joann Strauss and String Quartet in B-flat major. In 1866, Tchaikovsky leaves St. Petersburg to become a musical...
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