Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, a small town in present-day Udmurtia, formerly province of Vyatka in the Russian Empire, to a family with a long line of military service.
Peter began piano lessons when he was 5 years old. When he was 8 years old, and his governess had read the fairy tale of "The Sleeping Beauty" the music to his once upon a future succes began to form in his head.
In 1850 when Peter was 10 years old, the family decided to send Tchaikovsky to the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg. The school mainly served the lesser nobility, and would prepare him for a career as a civil servant. As the minimum age for acceptance was 12, Tchaikovsky was required to spend two years boarding at the Imperial School of Jurisprudence's preparatory school, 800 miles (1,300 km) from his family.Once those two years had passed, Tchaikovsky transferred to the Imperial School of Jurisprudence to begin a seven-year course of studies.
Peter gave up his carrer in the Department of Justice, and began studying music at the Royal Music Conservatory. Though Rubinstein was impressed by Tchaikovsky's musical talent, he and Zaremba later clashed with the young composer over his First Symphony, written after his graduation, when he submitted it to them for their perusal. The symphony was given its first complete performance in Moscow in February 1868, where it was well received.
In 1869, the two entered into a working relationship, the result being Tchaikovsky's first recognised masterpiece, the fantasy-overture Romeo and Juliet, a work which The Five wholeheartedly embraced.
During 1884, now 44 years old, Tchaikovsky began to shed his unsociability and restlessness. In March of that year Tsar Alexander III conferred upon him the Order of St. Vladimir (fourth class), which carried with it hereditary nobility and won Tchaikovsky a personal audience with the Tsar. The Tsar's decoration was a visible seal of official approval, that helped Tchaikovsky's social rehabilitation.
In 1892, Tchaikovsky was voted a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in France; he was only the second Russian, after the sculptor Mark Antokolsky, to be so honored.The following year, the University of Cambridge in Britain awarded Tchaikovsky an honorary Doctor of Music degree. Peter Ilyich Tchailkovsky died in 1893 of unknow reasons.
Tchaikovsky wrote many works which are popular with the classical music public, including his Romeo and Juliet, the 1812 Overture, his three ballets (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty) and Marche Slave. These, along with two of his four concertos, three of his six numbered symphonies and, of his 10 operas, The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin, are among his most familiar works. Almost as popular are the Manfred Symphony, Francesca da Rimini, the Capriccio Italien and the Serenade for Strings. His three string quartets and piano trio all contain beautiful passages, while recitalists still perform some of his 106 songs. Tchaikovsky also wrote over a hundred piano works, covering the entire span of his creative life. Brown has asserted that "while some of these can be challenging technically, they are mostly charming, unpretentious compositions intended for amateur pianists." He adds, however, that "there is more attractive and resourceful music in some of these pieces than one might be inclined to expect."
To read more of Tchaikovsky; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyotr_Ilyich_Tchaikovsky