"Portrait of Pyotr Tchaikovsky"

Author Rinat Kuramshin

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was a great Russian composer, conductor and a bright representative of musical romanticism. According to UNESCO - P.I. Tchaikovsky is the most performed composer in the world, every few minutes in some part of the planet his music is playing.

legacy is represented by different genres: ten operas, three ballets, seven symphonies, 104 romances and a number of other works. The Swan Lake has become a symbol of the Russian music and ballet. The premiere and the only lifetime production of the Swan Lake, which took place at the Bolshoi Theatre on March 4, 1877, was not successful. It took 18 years for this failure to be forgotten, and the ballet was revived by Marius Petipa at the Mariinsky Theatre. A lot of time has passed since the premiere. It is the apex of a balerina’s career to dance the main part – and these are the two opposite images - Odette and Odile. The theme of love, death, and fate can be traced in all of Tchaikovsky’s works, including his later symphonies.

A year after the Swan Lake, he composed his Fourth Symphony and dedicated it to Baroness Nadezhda von Meck. The sixth Pathetic Symphony is Tchaikovsky’s last composition which he called «the best and most sincere» of all his works. One of the most famous operas in the world is Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta based on King Rene’s Daughter by H. Hertz.  

Mariinsky Theater

«Ballet Swan lake»

Аuthor Rinat Kuramshin

Sheet music «Seasons»

P. Tchaikovsky


in a Swan costume»
Author Rinat Kuramshin

Tchaikovsky was fluent in several foreign languages and showed a keen interest in the culture of many European countries. His biography includes many successful trips abroad, during which the composer managed to combine a comfortable rest, fruitful work and successful touring. During his first travels, Peter Ilyich visited several European capitals like Rome, Berlin, Paris, London and Vienna. Since 1887, Tchaikovsky has been actively working as a conductor. Concert tours to Germany, the Czechia, France, England and America made the composer famous all over the world. In 1891, Tchaikovsky made a very successful concert tour to the United States. He performed as a conductor during the opening ceremony of the Carnegie Hall in New York. P.I. Tchaikovsky often visited France. He was elected a Corresponding Member of the Paris Academy of Fine Arts. in 1892. 
Tchaikovsky visited Great Britain four times. For the first time the future composer, a 21-year-old employee of the Ministry of Justice visited Great Britain in 1861, accompanying engineer V. Pisarev on a business trip. Tchaikovsky’s second visit to London took place in early 1888. By that time, he was already a world-famous composer, the author of recognized masterpieces. The four days spent in London were part of a large concert tour over Europe, which Tchaikovsky performed as a conductor of his own pieces. For the third time Tchaikovsky came to London a year later, in April 1889, also with a concert. He brought V. Sapelnikov, a graduate from St. Petersburg Conservatory, as a soloist in No. 1 Piano Concerto. The composer also conducted his first Orchestral Suite. 

P.I. Tchaikovsky in

the Doctor's mantle music honoris causa

of Cambridge University 1893

A scene from the opera "Iolanta"

Covent Garden Theatre in London

Sarah Lamb in The Nutcracker Ballet

Covent Garden Theatre, London

The last visit (the fourth one) to England took place in June, 1893. This time the arrival in Britain was associated with the 50th anniversary of the Cambridge University Musical Society, where he was awarded Doctor of Music (honoris causa), in absentia. When in London, the composer conducted his famous No. 4 F-dur Symphony, Opus 36, at the end of which Tchaikovsky used the «Vo Pole Berezka Stoyala» folk song. «The concert was a great success, - he wrote, - everybody agreed that I had a real triumph».
Another fact that speaks of an unquenchable interest in Tchaikovsky’s work by the British people is that after almost a 30-year break, in 1946, the opera returned to the Covent Garden. On February 20, the theatre opened with Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty staged by Oliver Messel. At the same time, a creation of an opera group began, for whom the Covent Garden theater became a home stage. Tchaikovsky reformed the ballet music, deepened its ideological and figurative concepts and raised it to the level of contemporary opera and symphony. 
Tchaikovsky turned ballet music from an auxiliary element that served only as a dance accompaniment into an inspiring dance, making it capable of expressing complex psychological states in their development, movement, variety of degrees and shades. 
Tchaikovsky was inspired to reach beyond Russia with his music, according to Maes and Taruskin. His exposure to Western music, they write, encouraged him to think it belonged to not just Russia but also the world at large.[ Volkov adds that this mindset made him think seriously about Russia’s place in European musical culture - the first Russian composer to do so. It steeled him to become the first Russian composer to acquaint foreign audiences personally with his own works, Warrack writes, as well as those of other Russian composers