Tchaikovsky, His Life and Times

Jenna Garrity
11/07/96
BOOK REPORT (can be edited to just a biographical report on Tchaikovsky)

Wilson Strutte

All through his life, Tchaikovsky was tormented by his imaginary horrors.
Yet while suffering psychological terror, Tchaikovsky was a musical genius. This
is his story.
Peter Llyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 07,1840 in Russia. He had a
younger brother, Modest, whom in later years Tchaikovsky wrote many letters to.
His letters told us most of what we know about Tchaikovsky.
Tchaikovsky was manic depressive. Slanderous critics may have
contributed to his psychological dismay. His reviews were hardly ever in his
favor.
Tchaikovsky was composer of six symphonies, ballets and operas. His
music was performed all over Europe and Russia in the late 1800s. His works
include music to The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and The Sleeping Beauty. He
wrote such works as the 1812 Overture and the First Piano Concerto in b flat
minor.
All during his life Tchaikovsky wrote detailed letters to his brother and
close friends, including Madame Von Meck, the patroness he never met in
person. His letters give us insight on how he felt about his music and life. This
biography includes many exerts from such letters.
Tchaikovsky was married to Atonina Milyuka, one of his students, in July of
1877. He made it clear however, that they were married due to her threat of
suicide if they were not married. During their brief marriage Tchaikovsky was
extremely unhappy. In his letters he described her as having an empty heart as
well as an empty head.
As a result of his marital despair, he attempted suicide. He fell into
unconsciousness and it was during that time that his brother and a good friend
requested a divorce from Antonina. She was extremely calm during their visit,
but was later hospitalized in a mental institution after sending several violent
threats to Tchaikovsky and his family, stalking him, and consoling in many lovers
with several children as a result. Throughout his troubled life, Tchaikovsky was
still able to produce the finest music in Russia.
Tchaikovsky, His Life and Times is completed with a selection of
illustrations taken from old engravings and paintings. The text and visual aids all
help to better understand Tchaikovsky, his life and his times.

‘In you I see the greatest, or rather the only, hope for our musical
future’ -Herman Laroche