Pyotr Tchaikovsky Research Paper

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Pyotr Tchaikovsky was one of the most internationally recognized and successful composers in history. Some of his incredible works include Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet Fantasy and his Symphony No. 6 to name a few. However, he had a secret he had to withhold from the public eye, he was gay. As a homosexual in Russia during the mid-1800s, Tchaikovsky was in fear for his life. In fact, Pyotr even went as far to commit suicide to keep from publicly exposing his homosexuality. Although, even with his constant struggles with his unaccepted sexuality, Tchaikovsky still became known as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Tchaikovsky was born on May 7th, 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia. Beginning piano lessons at 5, he very quickly began reading
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Although he married one of his students, Antonina Ivanovna Miliukova, this attempt at traditional family life was a disaster. (Vogel, Web.) Mismatched psychologically and sexually, the couple lived together for only two and a half months before Tchaikovsky left, emotionally exhausted from being unable to compose during this time of his life. Tchaikovsky did however have a nephew named Vladimir Lvovich Davïdov, who he nicknamed “Bob” in order to hide his identity. In letters between Pyotr and Modest, his gay brother who was far more open about his sexuality, is it revealed that Bob was Tchaikovsky’s lover, despite being thirty years younger. Demonstrating the nature of their relationship Pytor writes to his nephew, “If only I could give way to my secret desire, I would leave everything and go home to you.” (Terry, Web) He is saying if only he could, he would give up on all the music and the fame just to be with his love, Vladimir. However, at this point Tchaikovsky, with all his notoriety and success, could never openly admit his sexuality for it was against the law to be gay. With all of the honors granted upon him by the country of Russia and being (in essence) nobility, Pytor would undeniably be killed if it were found out he was gay. In fact, his homosexuality has been thought to have led to his death. Allegedly, late in his life, Tchaikovsky was having an affair with the nephew of Duke Stenkbok-Fermor. Finding out about this the Duke constructed a Court of Honor comprised of Pytor’s former students, as opposed to a public trial. However instead of the disgrace of being outted, the court demanded that Tchaikovsky kill himself to preserve his dignity. He drank a glass of poisoned water and died on November 6, 1893. (Gent, Web) In the end, Tchaikovsky was not able to overcome the challenges presented by being homosexual in Russia during this time and unfortunately caused
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