"I consider you the greatest musical talent in present-day Russia", Russian music critic Hermann Laroche is said to have told Peter I. Tschaikowsky (born on April 25th 1840 in Votkinsk). And indeed, with his emotion-laden, voluptuous music, the composer does rank in the western world as the exemplary representative of Russian music. Especially his Fourth to Sixth Symphonies, his Piano and Violin Concerto as well as his large-scale ballet scores "Swan Lake", "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Nutcracker" figure to the present day as the very essence of Russian romanticism. In his own country, however, he was often accused of orienting his work too strongly on foreign models. In particular, his allegedly "academic" style bothered the composers of the so-called "mighty handful", to which, among others, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov belonged, and who considered themselves the "true" paragons of Russian music.
Peter I. Tschaikowsky died on October 25th 1893 in St. Petersburg.