1. Peter Tchaikovsky 1840-1893 Votkinsk, Russia
3. Peter Tchaikovsky’s father worked for the Russian government inspecting mines.
4. His mother was of minor French nobility.
5. Peter was the third of seven children. He was affectionate, precocious, and very sensitive. He also loved music.
6. He was very close to his mother and sister.
7. When he was 10, Peter traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia to be enrolled in the School of Jurisprudence.
8. This was a school for the upper class intending to enter civil service (work for the government).
9. In 1854, while only a teenager, Tchaikovsky’s mother died in the cholera epidemic.
10. This devastating blow caused Peter to begin composing and playing the piano seriously for the first time.
11. In 1859, he graduated from the School of Jurisprudence and entered civil service. He also continued studying music in his spare time.
12. In 1863, he resigned from civil service and enrolled full time at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
13. After his graduation from the conservatory, he accepted an invitation to teach at the Moscow Conservatory.
14. Tchaikovsky supported himself by playing and teaching.
15. In 1876, a rich widow, Nadezhda von Meck commissioned him to compose some chamber music.
16. She paid him extremely well and asked him to compose more works.
17. By 1877, she was sending him money regularly while lavishly praising his works.
18. Tchaikovsky dedicated his Fourth Symphony to her.
19. This is how their friendship began.
20. It lasted 14 years. They wrote over 1,100 letters to each other.
21. She continued to support him so he could concentrate on composing and wouldn’t have to teach.
22. They agreed however, never to meet face-to-face.
23. They actually saw each other in public a few times.
24. When they did, they just turned and walked the other way; they never spoke.
25. Tchaikovsky’s last work was his Symphony No. Six.
26. Four days after its premier in 1893, he died of cholera, the very disease that took his mother.
27. Peter Tchaikovsky is known as the greatest Russian composer that ever lived.