5 Facts about Tchaikovsky

by Damien Guilard | November 12, 2020
article

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is a musical genius born in 1840 and who died 1893. He was a Russian composer of the Romantic period. Despite his many popular successes, Tchaikovsky's life was punctuated by personal crises and wasn't that easy. Discover 5 facts about his incredible life!

1. Who was he?

Tchaikovsky became a civil servant in Russia. At the time, a musical profession was not an acceptable status to his family’s respected position. In 1859 he embarked on his public service career and spent three years in the Ministry of Justice.

2. He has been a civil servant

When Tchaikovsky was 17, his father finally recognized his son’s affinity for music and allowed him to take lessons with a professional pianist. When the St. Petersburg Conservatory opened in the fall of 1862, Tchaikovsky was one of its first students.

3. He started music lessons at 17

As Tchaikovsky gained fame, his personal life was thrust into the public spotlight. He had been aware of his feelings for men since he was at the Imperial School. Homosexuality was illegal in Russia (not for the upper classes). With the pressure, he entered into marriage with a young music student Antonina Milyukova, in 1877.

4. The Nutcracker wasn't a success

The holiday classic ballet, The Nutcracker, was not a success when it first premiered the week before Christmas in 1892. Critiques of the dancers were mediocre and varied, although the music was better received. While today The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition, it didn’t become so until several decades after its premier.

5. He was anti social

Tchaikovsky suffered from severe anti-social behavior and irrational stage fright. During his guest conductor appearances, he would hold his hand on his head because he feared that it would become detached from his body.