May’s composer of the month is Pyotr Tchaikovsky (PYO-tur chy-KAWF-skee).
Born: May 7, 1840
Died: November 6, 1893
• It took him only 40 days to compose “Sleeping Beauty.”
• While he was born and raised in Russia, he could speak German and French by the age of 6.
• He composed 6 symphonies (and passed away a mere days after conducting the premiere of No. 6).
• While his 1812 Overture is very popular, Tchaikovsky didn’t care much for it. He once described it as as “very loud and noisy and completely without artistic merit..."
• ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ from “The Nutcracker” is famous for its use of the celesta (which was very new at the time).
Three important works:
• Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 (1888)
• 1812 Festival Overture, in Eb major, Op.49 (1880)
• Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 (1893)
Audio Backpack playlist: Pyotr Tchaikovsky