Davila 1 Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyIntroduction Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who was born in 1840, was a famous Russian composer fromthe Romantic era of music. He is considered the greatest Russian composer of his time.Tchaikovsky grew up in a family that was both upper class and non-musical. Tchaikovskybecame the first Russian composer to personally acquaint foreign audiences with his ownworks, as well as those of other Russian composers. He incorporated both Western Europeanand Russian elements into his musical compositions. Tchaikovsky was honored by the Tsar, andwas awarded a lifetime pension in the concert halls of the world. He passed away at the age of53, in the year 1893.Background Tchaikovsky was born in a small province, known as Votkinsk in Russia. He began toshow interest in music at a very young age. He began to take his first piano lessons at the age offive. When Tchaikovsky was 10, his family moved to St. Petersburg where he would eventually
Davila 2receive his musical training. When he was about 19, he left his government job to pursue hisdream of becoming a musician. He began serious composition under Anton Rubinstein, thefounder of St. Petersburg Conservatory. Tchaikovsky graduated from school, in 1865 and won agold medal for a cantata based on a German subject known as Schiller’s Hymn to Joy. “His earlyworks included overtures, string quartets, and a programmatic symphony, all which would oneday mark his later achievements” (Charlton, Hickok 197). Some examples of these works werehis symphonies, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. Tchaikovsky was a highly productivecomposer even though he had an increasing tendency toward depression.Contributions Many of his most famous works, such as “His Fourth and Fifth Symphonies and hisballets, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty were performed all over Europe” (Charlton, Hickok198). These two ballets have never been surpassed for their melodic sound and instrumentalbrilliance. Some of his works such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty areamong the most popular works in the concert world today. His music has inspired many peopleand has gone from live performances to being used or referenced in movies.Influences Tchaikovsky had several musical influences and instructors throughout his life. Duringhis teenage years he was taught by Rudolph Kündinger, a professional teacher. He was alsoinfluenced by an Italian singing teacher named Luigi Piccioli. He was a student at the RussianMusical Society and St. Petersburg Conservatory. Among his teachers there were NikolayZaremba and Anton Rubinstein. One of his operas was inspired by Pushkin’s verse novel,Evgenij Onegin. During his earlier years as a composer, Tchaikovsky was fortunate enough to
Davila 3have the support of a benefactress, by the name of Nadezhda von Meck. It was through herfinancial support that Tchaikovsky was able to dedicate his time to writing music. Later on in hiscareer, when she withdrew her financial support, Tchaikovsky was already well established as acomposer and was able to support himself financially and continue to compose.Conclusion Tchaikovsky will always be a composer who will live on for the rest of time through hismusic. He will be a great influence to many composers and will help encourage others to bemore interested in classical music. Tchaikovsky will continue to help modern society realize thatmusic of the past is a key for composers of the future. Tchaikovskys music was marked by itssound that helped him to create some of the worlds greatest ballet music.