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Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

b Kamsko-Votkinsk, 7 May 1840
d St Petersburg, 6 November 1893, aged fifty-three

The first eight years of his life, in which he learnt piano, were comparatively settled; but in 1848 his father, a mining engineer, resigned from his government post and the family began a difficult migratory period. In 1850 he went to the St Petersburg School of Jurisprudence, becoming an indifferent lawyer, and a clerk in the Ministry of Justice in 1859. In 1862 he entered the new St Petersburg Conservatory, and in 1863 resigned his secure government post. Two years later he was teaching harmony at the Moscow Conservatory, and plunged into composition, to the detriment of his nervous health. In 1868 he met the group of young composers known as 'The Five' - Balakirev, Cui, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov - but never joined them, though Balakirev helped and advised him with his early works. The next four years were comparatively untroubled; then the failure of some of his works to find immediate success, coupled with his guilt about his homosexuality, brought renewed depression. His marriage in 1877 was a disaster; he tried to drown himself, and nearly lost his reason. He moved to Switzerland and was aided in his recovery by Mme von Meck, a woman he had scarcely met but who gave him friendship and financial assistance. But his inspiration failed and did not re-emerge until 1888, after which some of his finest works were written. He made some exhausting tours and suffered a new nervous collapse. He died of cholera, probably as a result of drinking unboiled tap-water.

1866 (26)

Symphony No 1 in G minor, Winter Daydreams

1868 (28)

Fate, symphonic poem

1869 (29)

Romeo and Juliet, fantasy overture (final version 1880)

1871 (31)

String Quartet in D major

1872 (32)

Symphony No 2 in C minor, Little Russian

1874-5 (34-5)

Piano Concerto No 1 in Bb minor

String Quartet in F major

1875 (35)

Swan Lake, ballet (fp 1895)

Symphony No 3 in D major, Polish

String Quartet in Eb minor

1876 (36)

Variations on a Rococo Theme, for cello and orchestra

Slavonic March, for orchestra

1877 (37)

Symphony No 4 in F minor

Francesca da Rimini, symphonic fantasy

Waltz-Scherzo, for violin and orchestra

1878 (38)

Violin Concerto in D major

1879 (39)

Eugene Onegin, opera

Capriccio Italien, for orchestra

Piano Concerto No 2 in G major (1879-80)

1880 (40)

Serenade for strings

Romeo and Juliet, overture (final revision)

1881 (41)

Joan of Arc, opera

1882 (42)

1812, overture

Piano Trio in A minor

1884 (44)

Mazeppa, opera

Concert-fantasy, for piano and orchestra

1885 (45)

Manfred Symphony

1888 (48)

The Sleeping Beauty, ballet

Hamlet, overture

Symphony No 5 in E minor

1890 (50)

The Queen of Spades, opera

1892 (52)

Iolanthe, opera

Casse Noisette (The Nutcracker), ballet

p String Sextet in D minor

1893 (53)

Symphony No 6 in B minor, Pathétique

Piano Concerto No 3

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