Life and Work of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Date Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Iiyich was a Russian composer who was born in Kamsko-Votkinsk on 7 May 1840 and later died in St. Petersburg on 6 November 1893. He composed several works such as symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, chamber music and was among the most popular theatrical music in the classical repertoire…
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It was amazing that Tchaikovsky was not even a professional musician. The Great Russian composer had education in a particular career as a civil servant. Pyotr was born from a family that had a long military experience. His father who was mostly of Russian ethnicity worked as an engineer in the Department of Mine. All the parents were trained in arts including music, which was very important especially considering that they lived in a very remote region. At the age of six, Tchaikovsky was already fluent in French and Germany through the help of the teacher who was hired to teach Tchaikovsky elder brother Nikolai and a niece of the family (Burt 2001, p. 410 -411). At age of four, Pyotr took piano lessons where he proved to be an intelligent pupil who could clearly read music proficiently within three years. His parents were very helpful and engaged a tutor and buying him musical instruments such orchestrion. However, the parents changed their mind in around 1850 and sent him to Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg maybe because they grew insensitive towards musical gift for their son and perhaps lack of better musical career in Russia at that time. Pyotr’s father also became broke and may have wanted Pyotr to remain independent as soon as possible. Music career was considered to be a very low career in Russia (Kavanaugh 1996, p.50-51). The fact that both Tchaikovsky’s parents schooled in Saint Petersburg, they felt it important to take their son to The School of Jurisprudence which they felt would prepare their son for a career as a civil servant at the age of 10 and this made him board for two years. It forced him to stay almost 1,300 km away from his family and later begun a seven year course of studies after his two years in preparatory school. Separation of Tchaikovsky from his mother made him have an emotional suffering that affected him for the rest of his life and was further increased by his mother’s death in 1854. Tchikovsky mourned his mother for the rest of his life as he termed it the “crucial event” and claimed that it was vivid to him. His mother’s loss also made him to make his initial stern composition called a waltz in her memory. The father thought it wise to take his son back to school so that his mind can be occupied with academic work which later made Tchaikovsky made lifelong friendship with fellow students Aleksey Apukhtin and Vladimir Gerard. Music greatly unified them and they maintained an extracurricular activity where they habitually attended the opera. Tchaikovsky further went ahead with his piano lessons by the help of an instrument maker Franz Becker who made several trips to the school. In 1855, Tchaikovsky father employed Mr. Rudolph Kundinger as a private teacher who suggested to his father that Pyotr did not have any future as a musician but later confirmed that his decision was based on his negative experience as a musician. Tchaikovsky’s father remained receptive about music career and did not know what to do about it making him to advice his son to finish school and try for a post in the Ministry of Justice.
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