Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
7 May 1840 - 6 November 1893


Pyotr Tchaikovsky is the Great Russian composer. He is the author of the world-wide known ballets. This is the reason we took the title "Tchaikovsky Ballet", as to pay tribute to the great composer.

He wrote many works which are popular with the classical music public, including his Romeo and Juliet, the 1812 Overture, his three ballets (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty). These, along with two of his four concertos, three of his six numbered symphonies and, of his 10 operas, The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin, are probably among his most familiar works, while recitalists still perform some of his 106 songs. Tchaikovsky also wrote over a hundred piano works. Born into a middle-class family, Tchaikovsky's education prepared him for a career as a civil servant, despite the musical precocity he had demonstrated from an early age. Against the wishes of his family he chose to pursue a musical career, and in 1862 entered the St Petersburg Conservatory, graduating in 1865. This formal, Western-oriented training set him apart, musically, from the contemporary nationalistic movement embodied by the group of young Russian composers known as "The Five", with whom Tchaikovsky sustained a mixed professional relationship throughout his career. Tchaikovsky's professionalism also fueled his desire to reach a broad public, not just nationally but also internationally. He eventually reached just such an audience. His reputation as a significant composer is now generally regarded as secure. Finally, the impact of Tchaikovsky's own works, especially in ballet with unforgettable music to three of the greatest classic ballets of all times - Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker - , cannot be underestimated; his mastery of danseuse (melodies which match physical movements perfectly), along with vivid orchestration, effective themes and continuity of thought were unprecedented in the genre, setting new standards for the role of music in classical ballet.

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As his style developed, Tchaikovsky wrote music across a range of genres, including symphony, opera, ballet, instrumental, chamber and song. Although he enjoyed many popular successes, he was never emotionally secure, and his life was punctuated by personal crises and periods of depression. Contributory factors were his suppressed homosexuality and fear of exposure, his disastrous marriage, and the sudden collapse of the one enduring relationship of his adult life, his 13-year association with the wealthy widow Nadezhda von Meck. Amid private turmoil Tchaikovsky's public reputation grew; he was honoured by the Tsar, awarded a lifetime pension and lauded in the concert halls of the world. His sudden death at the age of 53 is generally ascribed to cholera, but some attribute it to suicide.[1] Although enduringly popular with concert audiences across the world, Tchaikovsky has at times been judged harshly by critics, musicians and composers.,[2] as the disdain with which Western critics in the early and mid-20th century dismissed his music as vulgar and lacking in elevated thought has largely dissipated.[3]

Tchaikovsky wrote many works which are popular with the classical music public, including his Romeo and Juliet, the 1812 Overture, his three ballets (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty) and Marche Slave. These, along with two of his four concertos, three of his six numbered symphonies and, of his 10 operas, The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin, are probably among his most familiar works. Almost as popular are the Manfred Symphony, Francesca da Rimini, the Capriccio Italien and the Serenade for Strings. His three string quartets and piano trio all contain beautiful passages,

[111] Noel Goodwin characterized Swan Lake as "one of [ballet's] enduring masterworks"[111] and The Sleeping Beauty as "the supreme example of 19th century classical ballet,"[112] while Wiley called the latter work "powerful, diverse and rhythmically complex."[113]