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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Biography (1840 –1893)

Although his contemporaries did not appreciate his work until later in his life, renowned composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky became one of the Romantic period’s most famous personalities and is synonymous with many classic ballets of the period. Born in what is now the Udmurt Republic, Tchaikovsky began playing piano at age 5. After years of study, Tchaikovsky became a professor, before moving to Kiev, where he took up orchestral conducting after the conductor of a Moscow symphony, performing of one of his operas, took ill. Afterwards, Tchaikovsky began to earn fame as a conductor, before traveling to New York to serve as the conductor for Carnegie Hall’s premiere. When he died in 1893 from what most believe to be cholera, Tchaikovsky left behind numerous ballets, operas, symphonies, and concerti that exemplified his unique multi-ethnic vision, and a legacy of extraordinary music.