Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky
Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840, in Votkisk, which is in the rural part of western Russia. He was a son of a mining inspector. Tchaikovsky was the second of six children. His intention was to study law, but that profession did not suit him well. Fortunately, Tchaikovsky was gifted in music so he started taking music classes at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In 4 years, he graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Tchaikovsky became a professor at the Composition of Conservatorium in Moscow. He was professor there for 12 years. The pay was little, but he loved his job.
Tchaikovsky had sexual problems and he thought that he could stop them by marrying. In 1887, he was married to Antonina Milyukova, a music student at the Moscow Conservatory. The marriage was a disaster. They separated in 9 weeks.
Tchaikovsky had only one wish -- to die. He tried to commit suicide by standing in cold Moscow river water to catch a cold and die of pneumonia. His brother saved him.
In 1893, Tchaikovsky received an honorary doctorate of music from Cambridge University. On November 6, 1893, Tchaikovsky died in St. Petersburg, Russia, of cholera because he drank water he had not boiled.
Hear his music
Swan Lake, Scene Act 2
Swan Lake, Waltz Act 1
Swan Lake, Hungarian Dance Act 3