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Tchaikovsky ATchaikovsky=s music is not only one of the cornerstones of Russian musical society and world music . . . It is at the same time a creative and technical encyclopedia to which every Russian composer has reference in the course of his own work,@ commented Dimitri Shostakovich.1 This was a typical view held by Tchaikovsky=s contemporaries. He was well known and well respected, especially in his later years. In addition, Tchaikovsky was recognized as the most expressive Romantic composer in Russia.2 He was often idolized and put on a pedestal, particularly during his tour of the United States in 1891 when he conducted concerts of his own works in some of the leading concert halls. Tchaikovsky brought national attention to the Russian musical culture and composers. From this period forward Russian music was well received. Tchaikovsky did indeed make a great impact in Russia and around the world. Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, born in Votkinsk, Russia on May 7, 1840, was part of a family with comfortable financial circumstances. His father was a mining engineer and he was strongly attached to his mother. He first entered into the musical world at the age of five when he was given his first instruction on the piano. In spite of these lessons and Tchaikovsky=s love for music it never occurred to his parents to devote his life to music. Instead, at the age of ten, his family moved to St. Petersburg where they enrolled him in the School of Jurisprudence. Nine years later, in 1859, he passed into the Ministry of Justice as a clerk. He still loved music although it did not prove to be a major part of his life during this period. He was a member of the school choir and took piano lessons, but none of his instructors suspected a... ... middle of paper ... ... and Company, 1946. Bloom, Eric, ed. ATchaikovsky.@ Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians. New York: St. Martin=s Press, 1968. Brook, Donald. ATchaikovsky.@ Six Great Russian Composers. London: Salisbury Square, 1946. Cross, Milton and David Ewen. ATchaikovsky.@ Encyclopedia of the Great Composers and Their Music. New York: Doubleday, 1962. Kaufmann, Helen L. ATchaikovsky.@ The Story of 100 Great Composers. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1960. Shonberg, Harold C. ATchaikovsky.@ Lives of the Great Composers. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1981. ATchaikovsky.@ Great Composers 1300-1900. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1966. Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich. Letters to His Family: An Autobiography. New York: Stein and Day, 1973. Thomas, Henry and Dana Lee Thomas. ATchaikovsky.@ Living Biographies of Great Composers. New York: Garden City, 1959.
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