Anniversary at home genius

Incorruptible statistical data show that Peter Tchaikovsky is one of the composers whose music is most frequently performed and reproduced all over the world.

The monumental figure of this symphonist, a patriot and a citizen who elevated the Russian art to unattainable heights, stands out among the great artists of the XIX century. At the same time, due to its lofty humanism and artistic ideals, its amazing clarity, the accessibility of human feelings and thoughts that it embodies, its authentic folk origins and democratism, Tchaikovskys music has become an organic part of our lives.

Tchaikovsky created a musical tongue naturally tied to the common peoples culture, the musical world and everyday life of his time. However, national narrow-mindedness was alien to him. He believed that the value of a national culture only grows when it becomes available to all peoples. And, really, having won worldwide recognition, his music became truly international.

As to the Russian element in my music generally, its melodic and harmonic relation to folk musicI grew up in a quiet place and was drenched from the earliest childhood with the wonderful beauty of Russian popular songs. I am, therefore, passionately devoted to every expression of the Russian spirit. In brief, I am a Russian, through and through.
Peter Tchaikovsky

Timeline of Tchaikovskys Life

1840, 25 april
Peter Tchaikovsky is born in the Votkinsk Ironworks town, Sarapulsky Uyezd, Vyatka Governorate
1844, November
Begins to take lessons with governess Fanny Dürbach
Begins to take piano lessons with Mariya Palchikova
1848, September
The family leaves Votkinsk
1848, November
The family arrives in Saint Petersburg. Peter and Nikolay are placed in the private Schmelling School
1849, May
The family moves to Alapayevsk
1850, August
Peter comes to Saint Petersburg with his mother and visits the performance of Mikhail Glinka's A Life for the Tsar opera at the Alexandrinsky Theater.
Peter enrolls in the preparatory class of the Imperial School of Jurisprudence.
1852, May
The family moves to Saint Petersburg from Alapayevsk
1854, June
Tchaikovsky’s mother Alexandra dies of cholera
Takes music lessons from Rudolph Kündinger, they frequent concerts at the University. Tchaikovsky composes Anastasie-Valse for solo piano, My Genius, My Angel, My Friend song (text by Afanasy Fet), works on the unrealized opera Hyperbola.
1859, May
Graduates from the School of Jurisprudence and is appointed to a Ministry of Justice department
Begins to take music lessons at the Russian Musical Society
1862, September
Saint Petersburg Conservatory is opened, Tchaikovsky begins to attend Nikolay Zaremba’s courses in musical theory
1863, May
Resigns from the Ministry of Justice
1864, summer
Composes the overture The Storm (after Alexander Ostrovsky play)
1865, December

Graduates from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. His cantata on the text of Schiller’s ode An die Freude is performed at the graduation concert.

1865, summer
Translates Handbook for Instrumentation by François Auguste Gevaert. His Characteristic Dances for orchestra are performed at an open-air concert at Pavlovsk Park (Johann Strauss II conducting)
1866, January
Moves to Moscow at Nikolay Rubinstein’s invitation, begins to teach musical theory in Russian Musical Society classes
Teaches at the Moscow Conservatory
Makes the acquaintance of singer Désirée Artôt
1868, February
The first complete performance of Symphony No. 1 Winter Daydreams in Moscow, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein. Tchaikovsky’s first appearance as a conductor at a charity concert (Dances of the Chambermaids from The Voyevoda opera)
1868, summer

Translates Rulebook for Young Musicians by Robert Schumann

1869, May
Tchaikovsky’s article protesting Mily Balakirev’s dismissal from conducting at the Russian Musical Society concerts is published in The Contemporary Chronicle
1869, November
Composes the overture-fantasia Romeo and Juliet
1869, February
The Voyevoda opera’s first performance at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow
1870, autumn
Translates the Musical Catechism by Johann Christian Lobe
1871, March
Moscow, the premiere of the String Quartet No. 1
1871, November
Starts regular work as a music critic
Tchaikovsky’s Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony is published
1873, January
Premiere of the Symphony No. 2, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein
1873, December

Premiere of The Tempest, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein

1874, March
Premiere of the String Quartet No. 2, Moscow
1874, April

Premiere of The Oprichnik at the Mariinsky Theater, Saint Petersburg

Translates the libretto of The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
1875, April
First public performance of Tchaikovsky’s work abroad at a Russian concert in Wiesbaden
1875, October
Hans von Bülow gives the première of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in Boston, USA
1875, November

Russian premiere of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in Saint Petersburg (Gustav Kross) and Moscow (Sergey Taneyev). Premiere of the Symphony No. 3, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein.

1876, December

Tchaikovsky meets Lev Tolstoy. He receives the first letter from Nadezhda von Meck.

1876, March

Premiere of the String Quartet No. 3 in Moscow

1876, November
Premiere of Vakula the Smith at the Mariinsky Theater, Saint Petersburg
1877, February
Premiere of the Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow
1877, July
Tchaikovsky marries Antonina Milyukova
1877, October
Tchaikovsky goes abroad. He leaves in Switzerland, Italy, France where he works on the opera Eugene Onegin and the Symphony No. 4.
1877, November
Premiere of the Variations on a Rococo Theme in Moscow by Wilhelm Fitzenhagen

The Tempest, Valse-Scherzo and Sérénade mélancolique conducted by Nikolai Rubinstein are performed at the third Paris World’s Fair

1878, February
Premiere of the Symphony No. 4 in Moscow, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein
1878, April
Tchaikovsky returns to Russia. He quits his work at the Conservatory and until 1885 lives in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Kamenka, etc.
1879, March
Premiere of Eugene Onegin, performed by Moscow Conservatory students
1879, December
Premiere of the Suite No. 1 in Moscow, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein. Premiere of the Violin Concerto in New York (Leopold Damrosch),
1880, January
Tchaikovsky’s father dies
1880, December

Premiere of the Italian Capriccio, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein

1881, February

Premiere of The Maid of Orleans at the Mariinsky Theater, Saint Petersburg

1882, May

Russian premiere of the Piano Concerto No. 2 in Moscow by Sergey Taneyev, conducted by Anton Rubinstein

1882, July
The Maid of Orleans is staged in Prague (the first performance of a Tchaikovsky’s opera abroad)
1882, August
Premiere of the festival overture The Year 1812 in Moscow, conducted by Ippolit Altani
1882, October
Premiere of the Piano Trio “In Memory of a Great Artist” in Moscow
1883, January
The beginning of the exchange of letters with Tchaikovsky’s first teacher of music Mariya Loginova (née Palchikova)
1883, May
Premiere of the cantata Moscow (text by Apollon Maykov) in Moscow
1884, February

Premiere of the Suite No. 2 in Moscow, conducted by Max Erdmannsdörfer.

Premiere of Mazepa at the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow.
1885, January
Premiere of the Suite No. 3 in Saint Petersburg, conducted by Hans von Bülow
1885, February
Tchaikovsky moves to the village of Maydanovo, near Klin. He keeps residing in the vicinity of Moscow since then.
1886, January
A school sponsored by Tchaikovsky opens in Maydanovo
1886, March

Premiere of Manfred in Moscow, conducted by Max Erdmannsdörfer.

Tchaikovsky travels to Tiflis to visit his brother Anatoly.
1887, January

Tchaikovsky conducts the premiere of Cherevichki at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow

1887, March
Conducts symphony concerts in Saint Petersburg
1887, October
Conducts the premiere of The Enchantress at the Mariinsky Theater, Saint Petersburg
1887, December through 1888, March
Tchaikovsky’s first tour abroad (Leipzig, Hamburg, Berlin, Prague, Paris, London)
1888, January
Meets Désirée Artôt in Berlin, dedicates Six French Songs to her
1888, April
Moves to Frolovskoye near Klin
1888, November

Premieres of the Symphony No. 5 and the overture-fantasia Hamlet in Saint Petersburg, conducted by Tchaikovsky

1889, January through March
Tchaikovsky’s second tour abroad (Cologne, Frankfurt, Dresden, Berlin, Geneva, Hamburg, Paris, London)
1890, January through March
Tchaikovsky stays in Italy (Florence, Rome), works of the opera The Queen of Spades
1890, January
Premiere of The Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg
1890, December

Premiere of The Queen of Spades at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg

1891, April
Tchaikovsky’s sister Alexandra Davydova dies
1891, April through May
American tour
1892, May
Moves to his last home at Klin
1892, November

Premiere of the sextet Souvenir de Florence in Saint Petersburg.

Tchaikovsky is elected a corresponding member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (France)
1892, December

Premieres of Iolanta and The Nutcracker at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg.

Tchaikovsky visits his childhood governess Fanny Dürbach in Montbeliard, Switzerland

1893, February through August

Works on the Symphony No. 6

1893, March through April
Tchaikovsky composes Eighteen Pieces for piano, Six Romances to the text of the poet Danyl Ratgauz, and the vocal quartet Night
1893, June
Travels to London and Cambridge. Receives an Honorary Doctorate of Music at Cambridge University.
1893, October 3

Completes Piano Concerto No. 3

1893, October 16

Tchaikovsky conducts the premiere of the Symphony No. 6 (Symphonie Pathétique) in Saint Petersburg

1893, October 25, 3 a.m.
Tchaikovsky dies of cholera
1893, October 29
Tchaikovsky is buried in the Tikhvin Cemetery at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery
1893, October 30
First memorial concerts in Moscow and Saint Petersburg