Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is a great Russian composer, conductor, teacher and critic. His works are known to all compatriots, even if these people are not adherents of classical music.


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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in the village of Votkinsk…


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in the village of Votkinsk (modern Udmurtia) on May 7, 1840. The father of the future musician is a representative of the Cossack family of Seagulls, well known in Ukraine. Ilya Petrovich served as an engineer. The mother of a large family was also an educated woman. At the School of Female Orphans, Alexandra Andreevna Assier studied a number of subjects – literature, geography, arithmetic, foreign languages, rhetoric (see ballet news for more info).

In this Ural village, Tchaikovsky Sr. was in charge of the Kamsko-Votkinsk Steel Plant. It was the largest enterprise of the Russian Empire, the head of which received an excellent salary and a number of preferences. For housing Tchaikovsky was provided with a huge state house, the director of the plant had his own army, which consisted of hundreds of Cossacks. The family lived on a grand scale, often hosted guests in their house – local nobles, foreign engineers, young people of the capital.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky pronunciation

The Tchaikovsky family was large, the future composer was the second child. His older brother's name was Nikolai, after Peter another boy was born – Hippolytus, then sister Alexandra. There was enough space in the huge house for everyone, numerous relatives of the head of the family lived together with the Tchaikovsky. Parents took great care of the upbringing and education of their children, they discharged a governess from St. Petersburg. This woman, Fanny Durbach, was French, she lived in the Tchaikovsky family for a very long time.

The parents of the future composer loved music very much, they were excellent musicians themselves. My father played the flute, my mother played the harp and piano. Alexandra Andreevna had a strong voice, she performed romances perfectly. The governess did not know how to play music, but she also loved music very much. My father bought two musical instruments – a grand piano and an orchestra (that's what a mechanical organ was called in those days). Little Petrusha was taught to play the piano by a serf peasant Marya Palchikova, who had musical literacy.

Young Tchaikovsky enthusiastically studied the basics of playing the piano. At that time, he was possessed by another great passion – the love of poetry. He not only enthusiastically read poems by various authors, but also composed them himself in French. The real idol of the future composer at that time was Louis XVII. The young man diligently studied the biography of the French king, tried to find in various sources as many facts as possible about the life of the monarch. This historical figure for Tchaikovsky was and remains an example to follow.

When Petrusha turned eight, their large family moved to Moscow. Ilya Petrovich retired at that time, was looking for a decent job. Two months later, the Tchaikovsky family ended up in St. Petersburg, where the father immediately attached his older sons to the Schmelling boarding school. In the northern capital, Petrusha continues to study music. He gets acquainted with ballet, opera, symphony orchestra. The boy gets used to the damp climate of St. Petersburg for a long time, often gets sick. In adolescence, he suffered from measles, a serious illness did not pass without a trace. Throughout his life, the composer had seizures from time to time.