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Happy Birthday Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky!

Tchaikovsky was born on this day in 1840

Happy Birthday Tchaikovsky!

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on 7th May 1840 in Russia, part of a large family of 7 children. He began piano lessons at the age of 5, and within 3 years was as adept at reading sheet music as his teacher!

His parents initially supported his musical education, but when he was a little older they sent him to a prestigious school in order to prepare him for a career as a civil servant. At the time, a career in music was seen as being extremely low on the social ladder.

In 1854 Tchaikovsky’s mother died from cholera. This led Tchaikovsky to make his first serious attempt at composition and he wrote a waltz in her memory.

Despite the social stigma, Tchaikovsky pursued his interest in music and after graduating was offered the post of Professor of Music at the Moscow Conservatory.

Some of his most famous compositions include Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and the 1812 Overture (we’re sure you’ve all heard this one!)

Tchaikovsky died in 1893 in Saint Petersburg, reputedly from cholera caused by drinking unboiled water at a local restaurant. He was buried near other famous composers Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin.

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