May 7, 1840 – November 6, 1893
Russian composer Piotr Tchaikovsky, unlike some of his contemporaries, did not provide any particular revolution in classical music. Instead, he is known for the effect of his music: strong, majestic pieces with distinctive melodies that have remained appealing to this day.
Tchaikovsky was taught piano as a boy. At only four, his instructors began to notice his remarkable skill as a pianist. However, Tchaikovsky initially studied law in St. Petersburg, and eventually found work at the Ministry of Justice. During this time he longed to learn and practice music. He took some lessons privately, and later enrolled at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He left his work and relocated to Moscow to teach harmony at the conservatory there. Tchaikovsky composed his first symphony then, and followed with operas, and also ballets.
Tchaikovsky’s reputation grew, and, by 1877, was recognized as an important composer. He continued writing, toured across Europe in 1888 and 1889. In 1892 he wrote The Nutcracker, which became his most popular work.
He died the next year, in 1893.
Piano Concerto #1 in B-flat
Symphony #6 in B minor, Pathètique
Swan Lake Suite
Violin Concerto in D