Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Pyotr (Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky (May 7 1840November 6 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era.

His works include six symphonies, the "1812 Overture", the Overture-Fantasy, Romeo and Juliet, ten operas, most notably Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades, and the ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake debuted on March 4, 1877.

He was born in Kamsko-Votkinsk, Russia.

Tchaikovsky is well known for his harmonic and melodic mastery, as well as the robust Russian flavour in his music, and was rumoured to have suffered throughout his life, especially in his marriages, as he was a homosexual.

Tchaikovsky often felt guilt for his homosexuality because of his Russian Orthodox Faith. This caused him to commit suicide by drinking cholera-infected water. Peter Tchaikovsky died in Saint Petersburg, Russia and was interred in Tikhvin Cemetery at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, St. Petersburg, Russia.

His life, somewhat emboidered, is the subject of Ken Russell's motion picture The Music Lovers.




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