Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was one of the greatest Romantic composers. We learned about the beginning of the Romantic period of music with our last composer, Beethoven. Music in the Romantic period was emotional, personal, and featured lyrical melodies and enormous orchestras. Tchaikovsky wrote some of the greatest and most memorable melodies of all time. He was especially known for his ballet music.

Tchaikovsky's Ballet Music

Some of Tchaikovsky's greatest music was written for ballet (pronounced bal-ay). A ballet is an artistic dance form in which dancers move gracefully to music. Look at the slides to learn about the stories for these famous ballets, and listen to a short clip of them. Do you recognize any of the music?

Tchaikovsky’s Famous Ballets
Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake - Act II - No. 10.mp3
Tchaikovsky - Sleeping Beauty Waltz.mp3
Tchaikovsky -Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy.mp3

The Story of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Listen to the narration of Tchaikovsky's story. As you listen, try to answer the questions on the form below. Look at the questions before we begin:

  • What is Tchaikovsky's first name in English?
  • Where was Tchaikovsky born?
  • What did Tchaikovsky's parents make him study?
  • What is a "patron" or "patroness"?
  • Who did Tchaikovsky dedicate his fourth symphony to?
  • Where did Tchaikovsky go in 1891?
  • What kind of music was Tchaikovsky best at writing?

Tchaikovsky's House Museum

Memorial Statue

Click the play button below to listen to Tchaikovsky's story. Click the form on the right and answer the questions.

Tchaikovsky's Story