From 1863 lessons in music theory, flute, and - unusually for Russia - organ in St. Petersburg
From 1866 teaches at the Moscow Conservatory
1876 physical breakdown due to overwork. Spa treatment in Vichy, France, followed by visit to the first Bayreuth Festival
1877 marries his student Antonina Miliukova - separation a few weeks later
Dies on October 25, 1893 in St. Petersburg, of cholera - or perhaps after poisoning himself, under pressure due to his homosexuality?
Did you know?
Tchaikovsky’s first publicly performed orchestral work, the Dance of the Hay Girls from his opera The Voyevoda, took place in 1865 in Pavlovsk, St. Petersburg. The conductor was Johann Strauss, Jr.
He received artistic and material support from Nadezhda von Meck, with whom he had an active letter correspondence - but they both carefully avoided meeting in person.
His Violin Concerto was intended for the famous Hungarian violinist Leopold Auer, who rejected it as unplayable. It was premiered by Vienna-trained Russian violinist Adolph Brodsky in December 1881 at Vienna’s Musikverein, with Hans Richter and the Vienna Philharmonic.
Like Tolstoy, he had reservations about Beethoven and Wagner. He found Bach’s fugues “entertaining”, and felt that Verdi, in spite of his great talent, “committed many sins against art.”
He corresponded with a friend from Vienna in a very Austrian German, but wrote to his Hamburg acquaintances in French.