Peter Tchaikovsky – outstanding Russian composer
Peter Tchaikovsky, an outstanding Russian composer, was born in 1840 in Votkinsk. His family was rich and sent him to special schools. He was fond of music since his early childhood. His mother sang him beautiful songs and taught him to play the piano. Tchaikovsky went to a university and studied law. But at the age of 23, he decided to give his life to music. He studied music in Saint Petersburg and was the best pupil of Anton Rubinshtein. When he was 26, he wrote his first symphony.
When the Moscow Conservatoire was founded Pyotr llyich became a professor there. Tchaikovsky worked in almost all musical genres. He created wonderful music: ten operas, three ballets, six symphonies, seven large symphonic poems and many other musical pieces.
Tchaikovsky became a famous and successful composer. But he did not live a happy or exciting life. He was very shy and lived alone. Every day he stayed home and wrote music. He was often unhappy. He was afraid of many things. He was afraid to die. He was also afraid his head would fall off his shoulders. This was a problem when he conducted music. So he sometimes held his head with his left hand and conducted with his right hand.
The most famous ballet in the world, a symbol of an era, failed. Only after the death of the composer ballet Swan Lake has become popular.
Antonina Milyukova, a student of Tchaikovsky Conservatory to support a composer, wrote him a letter about her love to him. Later they got married but Pyotr loved her only like sister. Antonina was eight years younger than the composer. The marriage broke up a few weeks later. Tchaikovsky avoided staying with his wife in private. He literally ran away from home. The protracted divorce and subsequent heavy civil marriage had led to mental illness of Antonina, who brought their children to orphanage.
In 1876, Tchaikovsky received a letter from a mysterious rich widow. Her name was Madame von Meek. She said she loved his music and offered to send him money every year. There was one condition. They must never meet. Tchaikovsky agreed. They wrote to each other for 14 years. Then Madame von Meek suddenly stopped writing. Tchaikovsky was very hurt. When he died three years later, he said her name.
In 1890, German inventor Julius Block made a short recording by phonoautograph. Before recording Block asked the composer to play the piano, or at least say something. He refused, saying: “I am a bad pianist and my voice is raspy. Why perpetuate it?”
Tchaikovsky said that he was touched when Leo Tolstoy sitting next to him in the hall and listening to the Andante of his quartet, burst into tears.
Tchaikovsky died after he drank contaminated water on November 6, 1893. He was 53. Some people say he drank it by accident. Others say he drank the water to kill himself.
Today we remember Tchaikovsky for his wonderful symphonies and ballets. To this day, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker are three of the world’s most popular ballets. Besides, Tchaikovsky was a great conductor, and he conducted a lot of operas and symphonies himself.