Tchaivosky Essay

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Maggie McMorrow
Honors Orchestra
Tchaikovsky Research Paper Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, a small town in the Russian Empire on the 7th of May, 1840. His family had a long line of military service with his father, Ilya Petrovich Tchaikovsky being an engineer who served as a lieutenant colonel in the Department of Mines for Russia. His grandfather also served in the military as a physician's assistant and later became city governor of Glazov. And his great-grandfather was given the name, Peter the Great, at the Battle of Poltava in 1709. His mother, Alexandra Andreyevna nee d'Assier, was the second of his father’s three wives and was 18 years her husband's junior with French ancestry on her father's side. Both of Tchaikovsky's parents were trained in the arts, including music which was considered a necessity when living in a remote area of Russia with constant need for entertainment. Tchaikovsky had four brothers, a sister, and a half-sister from his father's first marriage. He was particularly close to his sister and the twins. Anatoly later had a prominent legal career, while Modest became a dramatist, librettist, and translator. His mother went on to marry Lev Davydov and have seven children, one of whom, became very close to Tchaikovsky. The Davydovs were the only real family that Tchaikovsky had as an adult, and their house was a place of relaxation for him during tough periods of his life. Tchaikovsky’s family hired a French governess to come to teach and care for the children when he was four years old. She later taught him to be fluent in French and German by the age of six. Tchaikovsky became very attached to the governess and she is said to have replace his mother in a way because of her distant parenting ways. Tchaikovsky took piano lessons from the age of five. He was amazing from the time he started and could read and play music as well as his teacher after just 3 years. His parents were initially supportive, giving him a tutor and encouraging his study of the piano for numerous reasons. In 1850 his parents decided to send Tchaikovsky to the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg. Their decision is greatly disputed and many often wonder if they were blind to his musical abilities. Since both parents had graduated from institutes in Saint Petersburg, they decided to give him the education that had received. The School of Jurisprudence served the lower class and would prepare Tchaikovsky for a career as a civil servant. The minimum age of start for studies was 12 and Tchaikovsky was only 10 at the time, so he was required to spend two years boarding at the Imperial School of Jurisprudence's preparatory school, which was 800 miles away from his family. Once he turned 12, Tchaikovsky transferred to the Imperial School of Jurisprudence to start his seven-year course of studies. Tchaikovsky's father, who also got cholera at the same time as his mother, immediately sent him back to school, hoping that his school work would distract him from his pain. In partial compensation for his loneliness and loss, Tchaikovsky developed lifelong friends at school. Music became a solace for him as well. Tchaikovsky would regularly attend the opera with other students. Tchaikovsky would often improvise and spin off of works that he had heard at the opera. Tchaikovsky also continued his piano studies while at school, studying with Franz Becker, an instrument manufacturer, but did not learn much from the experience.
In 1855, Tchaikovsky's father paid for private lessons for his son with the teacher Rudolph Kundinger. He also questioned Kundinger about a future music career for Tchaikovsky. His teacher told him he saw nothing special that would suggest a future career. His teacher later revealed that this response didn’t really have to do with Tchaikovsky’s talent, but rather the negative experiences the music industry offered Kundinger. Tchaikovsky was advised to finish school and