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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (07.05.1840 - 06.11.1893) - Russian composer.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky photo ϸ   Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on 7 May 1840 in Votkinsk. He went down in history as a significant composer who wrote popular concertos, ballets, symphonies, operas and chamber music. Some of his works have made the list of the most famous compositions in the classical repertoire. Pyotr Tchaikovsky is considered the first Russian composer who produced a strong impression internationally.

The education of the young composer was destined for a career as a state employee but Tchaikovsky was musically precocious. In those years it was difficult to make a musical career in Russia and in addition to that there was not a system of public music education. When musical education became available Tchaikovsky snatched at a chance and entered Saint Petersburg Conservatory which was founded in 1862. In 1865 he graduated from conservatory.

The education of Tchaikovsky was Western-oriented and thats why he was estranged from the Russian composers of The Five, who embodied the contemporary nationalist movement. As a result he reconciled his acquirements with the native musical practices. This approach enabled him to think out an individual, original, but unmistakably Russian style. In those years the principles that determined concord, melody and other bases of Russian music differed from those that determined Western European music; as a consequence of this Russian music was not fully used in large-scale Western composition. The principles of Russian nationalist musicians ran counter to those which supported European conventions and this was a reason for personal antipathies that had a negative influence on self-assurance of Tchaikovsky.

Although Tchaikovsky was successful he was often depressed. The chief reasons contributing to Tchaikovskys crises were his leaving his mother for boarding school, her early death and collapse of his relationship with Nadezhda von Meck. Earlier scientists supposed that his same-sex orientation was also a reason for his depression but now musicologists understate importance of this fact.

Tchaikovskys music was popular but sometimes it was subjected to criticism. Some people considered that it was not adequately representative of native musical values. Some Europeans on the contrary praised Tchaikovsky because in their opinion he could offer the music that transcended Russian classical musics stereotypes. There are still negative opinions of Tchaikovskys work but by the end of the 20th century most of the critics appreciated him as a great composer.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky died of cholera at the age of 53 but some musicologists state that Tchaikovsky could commit a suicide.

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