Piotr Iliych Tchaikovsky

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This illustrated biography of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsy, the great Russian composer, comes with a CD and provides an introduction to his music

Born into a wealthy family in Votkinsk in 1840 in Russia, the young Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsy developed an early taste for music. However, he was sent to study law in St. Petersburg, and after graduating he joined the Ministry of Justice. Before long he realized that the life of a civil servant did not suit him, and he entered the newly created Conservatory of Music in St. Petersburg. His dream was to become a composer, and he studied music day and night. By the age of 26 he was appointed as a teacher of Composition at the Moscow Conservatory and had written his first symphony. He went on to write 5 other symphonies, a piano and a violin concerto, operas such as Eugene Onegin, and music for ballet, including Swan Lake, for which he is perhaps best known.


Stéphane Ollivier is a journalist and frequent contributor to the French cultural and music magazine Les Inrockuptibles. Charlotte Voake is an author and illustrator of children’s books.