Born: May 7, 1840
Died: November 6, 1893
One of His Famous Pieces: The Nutcracker Suite
It can be as early as October when you start hearing Christmas music on your radio, at stores, or from your own child getting a head start on the winter recital.
There are several different pieces that can be considered iconic during the Christmas season, but there may be one that stands out more than others — the Nutcracker Suite. The famous music accompanied by ballet dancers is performed by people all over the world every holiday season. In fact, Greenville has numerous opportunities for you and your family to go and see the Nutcracker performed live every holiday season season.
Let’s take a moment and peel back that Nutcracker curtain to get a look at the man behind it all. Peter Tchaikovsky was born in Russian in 1840. Tchaikovsky was a very good musician when he was young, but according to his family, a career in music wasn’t acceptable. So instead of going on and studying music, Peter instead went to law school to satisfy his family’s wishes. But even though Tchaikovsky went to law school, he did not give up his musical dreams. Eventually, Tchaikovsky gave up his legal job and moved to St. Petersburg to go to the conservatory there.
Peter Tchaikovsky loved to write music, and there was one lady in particular who loved listening and supporting his music. Nadezhda von Meck was a wealthy widow who took care of Tchaikovsky’s expenses so that he could concentrate on composing instead of making a living. That made Nadezhda Tchaikovsky’s “patroness.” She was humble though and didn’t want to meet Tchaikovsky, so they wrote letters back and forth instead. To show his immense gratitude towards his patroness, Tchaikovsky dedicated his fourth symphony to her. In fact, take a listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d1Me2gRZIQ
Tchaikovsky travelled all over Europe to hear performances of his music. He also came to America in 1891 to conduct his own music in the opening of Carnegie Hall!