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PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings , II . Valse : Moderato

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings , II . Valse : Moderato

ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Born 1840 in Votkinsk , Russia ; died 1893 in St . Petersburg , Russia
• Tchaikovsky was born the second of six children into a family with a long history of military service .
• He studied music but was expected to pursue a career as a civil servant . He attended law school and later held a position with the Ministry of Justice . During this time , he continued to study and write music .
• Tchaikovsky ’ s opportunities increased when the Russian Musical Society ( RMS ) was founded . Previously , Russian tsars had mainly imported Western European talent , while the RMS was focused on fostering Russian talent . Several years later , the St . Petersburg Conservatory was founded , and Tchaikovsky became part of its inaugural class .
• While in school , Tchaikovsky developed a unique style that incorporated Western traditions with a Russian sound . He believed his music was neither exclusively Western nor Russian , but rather a true amalgamation of both . Throughout his career his music would be criticized by Europeans for being too Russian and criticized by Russians for not being Russian enough .
• Tchaikovsky struggled in his personal life , enduring an ill-matched and short-lived marriage and surviving a suicide attempt . It is generally believed by historians that Tchaikovsky was gay . His need to keep this part of him hidden away to avoid persecution took a toll on the composer ’ s happiness and well-being .
• Tchaikovsky is remembered as one of the most famous composers of all time . His most recognizable works include Swan Lake , The Nutcracker , and his “ Pathétique ” Symphony . He was a trailblazer for Russian classical music , and his style would go on to inspire many generations of Russian composers that followed .
THE WORLD AT A GLANCE

1880

MUSIC Gilbert and Sullivan ’ s The Pirates of Penzance is premiered
ART Paul Cézanne ’ s View of Auvers-sur-Oise
FUN FACT
Tchaikovsky had some harsh words for Mussorgsky ’ s Boris Godunov stating , “ It is the most insipid and base parody of music .”
HISTORY Second Anglo- Afghan War
ABOUT THE PIECE
• Tchaikovsky ’ s Serenade for Strings , written in 1880 , was inspired by the works of Mozart .
• Tchaikovsky said of the work that “ it is a heartfelt piece and so , I dare to think is not lacking in real qualities .”
• The piece was so successful at its premiere that the waltz was repeated .
LITERATURE Émile Zola ’ s Nana
8 BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA