Tchaikovsky as a student at the conservatory. Photo, 1863.
The execution of the work made its "Premier" in St. Petersburg, Russia, just nine days before the composer died. Tchaikovsy himself led the orchestra during the presentation.
Portrait of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky by Nikolai Kuznetsov,1893.
Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia. He learned to play piano at age of five. His mother, from Polish-French origin, taught him piano lessons, but died of cholera when he was 14. He graduated as a lawyer in 1859 and spent three years in the Department of Justice of the Romanov Russian Empire.
Tchaikovsky studied music at the conservatory in St. Petersburg. He was professor of harmony at the Moscow Conservatory, where he met Hector Berlioz and Franz Litz who visited Russia in a concert season.