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Shadow on Concrete Wall

Pjotr Iljitsch Tchaikovsky 
1840 - 1893 

Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer. Sensitive and interested in music from early childhood, Tchaikovsky turned to serious composing at the age of 14.


In 1862 he began his studies at the new St. Petersburg Conservatory; from 1866 he taught at the Moscow Conservatory. His Piano Concerto No. 1 (1875) was premiered in Boston and enjoyed great popularity.


Commissioned by the Bolshoi Ballet, he wrote his first ballet Swan Lake (premiered in 1877). In 1877 he received an order from the wealthy Nadezhda von Meck (1831-94), who became his patron and longtime correspondent.


The opera Eugene Onegin (1878) soon followed. Although homosexual, he married briefly; after three disastrous months of marriage, he attempted suicide.


For years his composition was overshadowed by his personal crisis. His second ballet Sleeping Beauty (1889) was followed by the opera The Queen of Spades (1890) and the great ballet The Nutcracker (1892). The Pathétique Symphony (1893) premiered four days before his death from cholera.


He revolutionized the ballet genre by turning it into a staged musical drama. His music gained great popularity because of its melodic, poignant melodies, impressive harmonies, and colorful, picturesque orchestration.

Schwanensee (1. Szene)
00:00 / 03:14
The Nutcracker Suite
00:00 / 23:10
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