Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1840 - 1893 *** Full Name: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky *** Occupation: Russian Composer *** Date of Birth: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7th 1840 *** Place of Birth: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, Vyatka Governorate, Russian Empire *** Family background: His father was Ilya Petrovich Tchaikovsky and had served as a lieutenant colonel and was an engineer in the Department of Mines and his mother was Alexandra Andreyevna díAssier. She was the second of his fatherís three wives *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with six siblings including his sister Alexandra and Anatoly and Modest his twin brothers. His sisterís family would become the closest thing to a family he would ever have and they were very dear to him *** Education: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was educated by a French governess, he also had a piano teacher from the age of five. Tchaikovsky later attended Imperial School of Jurisprudence in St Petersburg ***
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 1: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7th 1840 and during the 19th century period in history when many empires across the globe collapsed, the Spanish, first and second French, Holy Roman, Mughal and Chinese but the British and Russian Empires, the United States and German Empire where on the rise.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 2: During 1854 his mother died of cholera, Tchaikovsky was only fourteen years old and totally devastated.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 3: It would be the first time Tchaikovsky attempted to put his feelings to music and did so in a composition of a waltz in his motherís memory. In an attempt to take his mind off of his suffering, his father insisted he return to school as soon as possible.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 4: Tchaikovsky made friends at school that would take the place of family and some friendships lasted a lifetime. Aleksey Apukhtin and Vladimir Gerard were two of his dearest friends.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 5: As a musical career in the this time was something out of reach for most common or lesser noble people, young Tchaikovsky was discouraged from putting so much effort into his music, regardless of how extremely talented he was becoming and to concentrate instead on a career in the civil service.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 6: In 1859 having graduated Tchaikovsky was appointed to the Ministry of Justice as a titular counselor, within six months he was promoted to junior assistant and two months following that he became a senior assistant, a position held for the next three years.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 7: In 1859 the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, Tsar Alexander II aunt founded the Russian Musical Society. Previously musical talent had been sought out from Europe by Tsar Alexander want to cultivate home grown talent and thus the RMS was created to do that.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 8: Tchaikovsky attended the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1862 and hugely benefitted from his attendance, it would furnish him with the tools to help him thrive as a composer.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 9: He graduated in 1865 and he was offered the position of Professor of Music Theory at the Moscow Conservatory which he gratefully and gladly accepted.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 10: In 1874 The Oprichnik premiered, it was the first of his compositions that survived.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 11: He met Desiree Artot in 1868 and fell in love with her. They became engaged but because Desiree refused to settle down and give up her career the pair split. He did marry nine years later but the marriage lasted no more than six weeks when Tchaikovsky moved out. He never blamed Antoninia Miliukova for their marriage breakdown but felt it was a failure only he could shoulder.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 12: After this time he stayed abroad during which time he completed Eugene Onegin as well as other work.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 13: Tchaikovsky made a brief return to the Moscow Conservatory in 1879.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 14: Tchaikovsky spent much time travelling around Europe and rural Russia mainly keeping to himself and writing. In that time although he was popular in Europe his popularity was also growing at home.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 15: As a celebration of Tsar Alexander IIís 25th anniversary of his coronation he was asked to write a piece to be played at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The piece, 1812 Overture, became one of his most well-known pieces of work globally.Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 16: Having spent most of his life largely keeping to himself by 1884 he was given the award of the Order of St Vladimir by Tsar Alexander III. This honor also included a title of hereditary nobility which went a long way assisting with his social standing and gave him an ideal opportunity to promote Russian music.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 17: By 1892 he would be voted a member of the Academie des Beaux-Arts in France and in England the University of Cambridge awarded him an honorary Doctor of Music degree.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Fact 18: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky on November 6th 1893 he died in Saint Petersburg aged fifty three years. His body was laid to rest at the Tikhvin Cemetery at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
Influence & Legacy of Tchaikovsky: His influence and legacy remain today in the music he left behind and which is listened to around the world. Some of his most famous pieces include The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.
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