Life and Works of Peter Tchaikovsky

Topics: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Mily Balakirev, The Nutcracker Pages: 4 (1365 words) Published: August 30, 2006
Life and works of Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Kamsko-Votkinsk, Russia, on May 7, 1840. He was introduced to music at age 5. His father was a Ukrainian mining engineer and his mother died when he was 14 - an event that may have stimulated him to compose ( He was forced to deal with the cold atmosphere of a military boarding school after his mother died. As such, he shied away from the harsh and brutal world and found solace in music. It was upon hearing Mozart's Don Giovanni that Tchaikovsky decided to dedicate his life to music. He went to school at the School of Jurisprudence and was a civil servant till 1861. In 1866 he was appointed professor of theory and harmony at Moscow Conservatory, which was established that year. He continued teaching there till around 1878 (Holden 12).

Abandoning his civil service position Tchaikovsky entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory to study under Anton Rubinstein. Fortunately, Tchaikovsky's father, who although disapproved of Peter's decision for a musical career, didn't interfere with his son's wishes. As a student he wrote The Storm 1864 and later in 1868, under the direction of Mily Balakirev, he composed Fatum. This work pleased Tchaikovsky but not Balakirev- the leader of the "Mighty Five." He bluntly criticized the work for its lack of continuity and natural flow and pointed to Liszt's Les Préludes as a successful model. Tchaikovsky respecting his judgment discarded the work. The famous Romeo & Juliet would follow within a years time, again under the nurturing counsel of Balakirev.

After the woman Tchaikovsky loved married another man, he made up his mind that whoever loved him he would marry. Around that time Antonina Milyukova was writing him very passionate letters. Even though he didn't remember her from his classes, they hastily married on July 18, 1877. Very soon afterward, within days even, he regretted the decision. Two...
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