Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky

  • Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky -  One of his most famous pieces is "The Nutcracker Suite" which is a ballet.  A ballet is a performance on stage, using the dance form ballet to portray the story through the dancers' movements as well as the music used.

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, (known as Peter in English) was a Russian composer who was born on May 7, 1840 and died on November 6, 1893.  Tchaikovsky was considered a composer of the Romantic Era.  He was very nationalistic; which means that he was proud to be Russian and expressed his love for his country in his pieces. Tchaikovsky is known as Russia’s greatest talent in 19th century music.  Tchaikovsky’s use of actual Russian folk songs and his deep understanding of Russian life and ways, influenced his music.

    Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born to a middle class family in Votkinsk, Russia. Tchaikovsky studied law before following his true calling and entering the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he studied from 1863 to 1865. In 1866 he went to Moscow to become the professor of harmony at the new.  In his first two years, he wrote his first symphony “Winter Daydreams” and first opera “Voyevod”.

    Since his death Tchaikovsky's music has gained great popularity.  Tchaikovsky is probably one of the most performed of the late 19th century composers. He composed symphonies and orchestral favorites such as various concertos for piano, violin, and cello. Also he composed well known pieces like the overture of opera "Romeo and Juliet" and the “Overture of 1812”.  Tchaikovsky also wrote well known ballets, "Sleeping Beauty", "Swan Lake" and "Nutcracker". 

    The Nutcracker  is a fairy-tale ballet,  composed in 1891–92. It is taken from the story “the Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffman and was set to music by Tchaikovsky. In many countries, this ballet has become perhaps the most popular ballet, performed primarily around Christmas time.

    Tchaikovsky made a selection of eight of the more popular numbers from the ballet, forming The Nutcracker Suite, intended for concert performance. The suite was first performed, under the composer's direction, on March 19, 1892 and became instantly popular. The complete ballet did not achieve its great popularity until around the mid-1960s.