Comprehensive Calendar

Written by Edward Garden
all dates have been converted to Western calendar

| birth | age 5 | age 10 | age15 | age 20 | age 25 | age 30 | age 35 | age 40 | age 45 | age 50 | death |

Year Age Life Contemporary Musicians
1840 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky born, 7 May, at Votkinsk, son of Ilya Petrovich Tchaikovsky, a chief inspector of mines. His brother Nicholas is 2.


Ilya Petrovich Tchaikovsky
composer's father
Gotz born, 7 Dec.; Stainer born, 6 June; Svendsen born,30 Sept.; Adam aged 37; Alabyev 53; Auber 58; Balakirev 3; Balfe 32; Berlioz 37; Bizet 2; Borodin 6; Brahms 7; Bruch 2; Bruckner 16; Cherubini 80; Chopin 30; Cui 5; Dargomyzhsky 27; Delibes 4; Donizetti 43; Franck 18; Grade 23; Glinka 37; Goldmark 10; Glounod 22; Halevy 41; Heller 26; Henselt 26; Lalo 17; Liszt 29; Lvov 41; Mendelssohn 31; Mercadante 45; Meyerbeer 49; Mussorgsky 1; Offenbach 21; Ponchielli 6; Reinecke 16; Rossini 48; Rubinstein, A.10; Rubinstein, N. 5; Saint-Saens 5; Schumann 30; Serov 20; Smetana 16; Spohr 56; Spontini 66; Stassov 16; Straus(J. ii) 15; Verdi 27; Verstovsky 41; Wagner 27.
1841 1 Chabrier born, 18 Jan.; Dvorak born, 8 Sept.; Pedrell born, 19 Feb.
1843 2 Birth of Tchaikovsky's sister Alexandra (Sasha) Boito born, 24 Feb.; Cherubini (82) dies, 15 March; Massenet born, 12 May; Sullivan born, 13 May.
1843 3 Grieg born, 15 June
1844 4 Starts lessons with Fanny Durbach, the governess of his elder brother Nicholas and his cousin Lydia. Birth of his brother Hippolyte Rimsky-Korsakov born, 18 March
1845 5 Receives piano lessons from Maria Markovna Palchikova and soon becomes more able than his teacher. Faure born, 13 May
1846 6
1847 7 Machenzie born, 22 Aug; Mendelssohn (38)dies, 4 Nov.
1848 8 Removal to Moscow where his father is disappointed in his prospects of a new appointment, Oct. Fanny Durbach leaves the family. Removal to St. Petersburg, where T is sent to a boarding school and has music lessons from Filippov. Duparc born, 21 Jan; Parry born, 27 Feb.
1849 9 Severe nervous trouble brought about by overwork at school and abnormal sensitiveness. Removal to Alapayevsk, where T.'s father was secured an appointment at Yakovlev mines. Chopin (39) dies, 17 Oct.
1850 10 Sent to School of Jurisprudence in St. Petersburg, Aug. Birth of his twin brothers, Anatol and Modest
1851 11 Preparatory studies continued at the School of Jurisprudence d'Indy born, 27 March; Lortzing (48)dies, 21 Jan; Spontini (77) dies, 14 Jan; Alabyev (64) dies, 6 March
1852 12 Return of the family to St. Petersburg Stanford born, 30 Sept
1853 13 Studies at School of Jurisprudence continued
1854 14 Tchaikovsky's mother dies of cholera. Begins to compose Humperdinck born, 1 Sept; Janacek born, 11 May.
1855 15 Studies at School of Jurisprudence continued. Has piano lessons with Rudolf Kundinger Chausson born, 21 Jan.; Lyadov born, 11 May.
1856 16 Studies at School of Jurisprudence continued Martucci born, 1 Jan.; Schumann (46) dies, 29 July; Sinding born, 11 Jan.; Taneyev born, 25 Nov.
1857 17 Studies at School of Jurisprudence continued Elgar born, 2 June; Glinka (54) dies, 15 Feb.
1858 18 Studies at School of Jurisprudence continued Leoncallo born, 2 March; Puccini, born, 22 June; Ethel Smyth born, 23 April.
1859 19 Leaves the School of Jurisprudence and enters the Ministry of Justice as a first-class clerk Ippolitov-Ivanov born, 19 Nov.; Lyapunov born, 30Nov; Spohr (72)dies, 22 Oct.
1860 20 Works at Ministry of Justice, goes to operas, concerts, the theatre, etc. Albeniz born, 29 May; Charpentier born, 25 June; Mahler born, 7 July; Wolf born, 13 March
1861 21 Visit to Germany, Belgium, London and Paris with a friend of his father's, July-Sept. Although still holding his post at the Ministry of Justice, he begins to study harmony with Zaremba (40), but is not yet sure that a musician's career is open to him. Arensky born,11 Aug; Catoire born,27 April; MacDowell born, 18 Dec; Marschner (66) dies, 14 Dec.
1862 22 Still continues his studies with Zaremba as an amateur. He enters the newly opened Conservatoire when Zaremba joins the staff there, but still retains his official post. Debussy born,22Aug; Delius born, 29 Jan; Halevy (63) dies, 17 March; Verstovsky (63)dies, 17 Nov.
1863 23 Resigns his post at the Minstry of Justice, spring. Finds himself in straitened circumstances and ekes out his financial means by giving private lessons. He continues to study theory under Zaremba and goes to A. Rubinstein (33) for composition. Mascagni born, 7 Dec.
1864 24 Studies at the Conservatoire continued. Overture to Ostrovsky's (41) drama, The Storm (Op.76), composed, summer. Grechaninov born, 25 Oct; Meyerbeer (73)dies, 2 May; R. Strauss born, 11 June.
1865 25 Conducts the Conservatoire orchestra in his newly composed Overture in F. To A. Rubinstein's annoyance he is absent from the Conservatoire graduating ceremony 12 Jan. N. Rubinstein (30) engages T. as professor of harmony at the recently opened Moscow Conservatoire. Dukas born, 1 Oct; Glazunov born, 10 Aug; Sibelius born, 8 Dec.
1866 26 Arrival in Moscow, Jan. Composition of First Symphony in G minor (Op. 13) gives him infinite trouble and leads to a nervous breakdown, July. Holiday with his sister's mother-in-law and her daughters Vera and Elizabeth Davydova Busoni born, 1 April; Kalinnikov born, 13 Jan; Rebikov born, 1 June; Satie born, 17 May
1867 27 Opera The Voyevoda, to a libretto partially written by Ostrovsky (44), begun, spring. Visit to Finland. Summer holiday with the Davydova ladies at Hapsal. 3 piano pieces Souvenir de Hapsal Op.2 dedicated to Vera, who fancies she is in love with him. Return to Moscow, Aug. Meeting with Berlioz, who conducts two concerts there, Dec. Granados born, 29 July
1868 28 Visit to St. Petersburg where he meets Balakirev (31), Cui (33), Dargomyzhsky (55), Rimsky-Korsakov (24) and Vladimir Stassov (44), spring. Visit to Berlin and Paris with his friend Vladimir Shilovsky and others, summer. The Voyevoda put into rehearsal at Moscow. Growing intimacy with Desiree Artot (33), his engagement to whom he announces to his father, Dec. Symphonic Fantasia Fatum finished Bantock born, 7 Aug; Rossini (76) dies, 13 Nov.
Desiree Artot
Desiree Artot
1869 29 Artot marries Mariano Padilla y Ramos (27) but this does not leave Tchaikovsky heart-broken. Production of The Voyevoda 11 Feb. Balakirev performs (and severely criticizes)Fatum, 17 March. Opera Undina composed. After a summer holiday with his sister 'Sasha' Davydova at Kamenka in the Ukraine, he returns to Moscow where he sees Balakirev (32) and meets Borodin (36). Overture-Fantasy Romeo and Juliet, suggested by Balakirev, begun. Arrangement for piano duet of Fifty Russian Folk-Songs. Composition of Six Songs (Op6). Chorus for an opera, Mandragora, composed but the work abandoned, Dec. Berlioz (66) dies 8 March; Dargomyzhsky (56) dies, 17 Jan; Pfitzner born, 5 May; Roussel born, 5 April.
1870 30 Opera The Oprichnik Begun, Feb. Romeo and Juliet performed by N. Rubinstein 16 March. Undina rejected by the Theatre Directorate. T. is summoned to Paris to see the consumptive Shilovsky. They go to Soden and attend the Beethoven Centenary Festival at Manheim. T. visits N. Rubinstein at Wiesbaden. Hasty departure for Switzerland on the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, July. After a stay in Interlaken, T. visits Munich and Vienna on his way back to Russia. Return to Moscow, end of Aug. Romeo and Juliet revised in accordance with Balakirev's instructions. Balfe(62) dies, 20 Oct. ; Lvov (71) dies, 16 Dec. ; Mercandante (75) dies, 17 Dec. Novak born, 5 Dec.; Florent Schmitt born, 28 Sept.
1871 31 First String Quartet in D major (Op 11) composed and performed March. Meeting with Turgenyev (53). Summer holidays spent at Kamenka, Nizy and Ussovo with his sister and his friends Kondratyev and Shilovsky respectively. Auber (89) dies, 12 May; Serov (51) dies, 1 Feb.
1872 32 The Oprichnik finished, May. Festival Cantanta for the opening of the exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Peter the Great 12 June. Second Symphony in C minor (Op. 17) composed, summer. Skryabin born, 6 Jan; Vassilenko born 30 March; Vaughan Williams born, 12 Oct.
1873 33 Second Symphony performed at a Russian Musical society concert in Moscow, 7 Feb, with great success. Music to Ostrovsky's (50) fairy-tale Snow Maiden begun, April. Visit to Germany, Switzerland and Italy, June-Aug. Symphonic Fantasia, based on Shakespeare's The Tempist(Op 18) with a program by Stassov, written at Ussovo, Aug. It is first performed in Moscow, Dec. Rakhmaninov born, 1 April; Reger born, 19 March; N. Tcherepnin born, 15 May.
1874 34 Second String Quartet in F major (Op22) composed, Jan The Oprichnik produced at St. Petersburg, 24 April. Visit to Italy, spring. Opera Vakula the Smith, begun during a holiday at Nizy and finished at Ussovo, end of Aug. Entered for a prize competition a year too early owing to a misunderstanding about dates. First Piano Concert (Op. 23) composed. Because of N. Rubinstein's (39) strictures it is dedicated to Hans von Bulow who was effusively grateful. Holst born, 21 Sept; Schonberg born, 13; Suk born, 4 Jan.
1875 35 Third Symphony in D major (Op.29) begun at Ussovo, finished Aug. Ballet Swan Lake (Op. 20) commissioned by the Moscow Opera. First performance of the First Piano Concerto by von Bulow (45) in Boston, U.S.A. 25 October, and the Third Symphony in Moscow 19 Nov. Taneyev (19) plays the first Moscow performance of the Piano Concerto, 3 Dec. Meeting with Saint-Saens, who visits Moscow, Nov. Bizet (37) dies, 13 June; Gliere born, 11 Jan; Ravel born, 7 March.
1876 36 T. visits Paris with his brother Modest (25). They go to a performance of Bizet's Carmen. Third String Quartet in Eb minor (Op. 30) begun, Feb. Visit to Vichy for health reasons, July. He goes on to Bayreuth where he meets Liszt (65) and calls on Wagner (63) who fails to receive him. He reports on first complete performance of theRing for Russkiye Vedomosti, Aug. After a visit to his sister at Verbovka and Shilovsky at Ussovo he returns to Moscow in great depression. He decides that the best way out of his sexual problems is to marry. Symphonic Fantasia Francesca da Rimini (Op. 32) finished, ov. The opera Vakula the Smith, having won the first prize in the competition for which it was entered, produced at St. Petersburg, 6 Dec. Meeting with Tolstoy (48) and beginning of correspondence with Nadedzhda von Meck (44), who admires T's work and is anxious to relieve him of all pecuniary embarrassments, Dec. Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra (Op 33), Dec. Falla born, 20 Feb; Gotz (36) dies, 3 Dec.
1877 37 Fourth Symphony in F minor (Op. 36) begun. Swan Lake produced in Moscow, 4 March. First performance of Francesca da Rimini in Moscow 9 March. T. again suffers from mental depression, spring. He works at an opera on Puskin's 'novel in verse' Eugene Onegin. Marriage to an infatuated admirer, Antonina Ivanovna Milyukova, 18 July. Driven to despair by an irresistible aversion to his wife, he leaves alone for Kamenka, 7 Aug., where he continues work on the Fourth Symphony and Eugene Oneigin. Return to his wife in Moscow, Sept. He attempts suicide and then leaves for St. Petersburg in a state of mind bordering on madness, 6 Oct. and is ordered a complete change by the doctor. A final separation from his wife is inevitable and he leaves for Switzerland with his brother Anatol (27), settling at Clarens, Oct. Nadezhda von Meck offers him an annuity of 6000 roubles. Visits to Italy and Vienna. Dohnanyi born, 27 July.

1877 with Kotek
1877 with Kotek (left), a young violinist to whom T considered dedicating the Violin Concerto to.
1878 38 Removal to San Remo, Jan. and to Florence, Feb. Fourth Symphony andEugene Oneigin finished, Jan. Return to Clarens, where the Violin Concerto (Op. 35) is composed and the Piano Sonata (Op 37) is begun, March. The Sonata finished at Verbovka, Aug. Holiday spent at Brailov, the estate of Nadezhda von Meck (46), who is absent, May. Return to Moscow, Sept. He finds his duties at the Conservatoire quite unbearable and resigns his professorship. Begins First Orchestral Suite (Op. 43) at Karmenka. Departure for Florence, Nov. Begins Opera The Maid of Orleans.
1879 39 Visits Clarens and Paris. Returns to Russia for a student production of Eugene Onegin in Moscow, 29 March. Summer again spent at Kamenka and Brailov. When Nadezhda von Meck(47) returns home, Aug., T. moves on to her smaller house at Simaki nearby. They met one day by mistake but do not speak to one another. Their friendship is epistolary only. Second Piano Concerto in G major (Op.44) begun at Kamenka, Oct. Departure for the West, Nov. Frank Bridge born, 26 Feb.; Ireland born, 13 Aug.; Respighi born, 9 July; Cyril Scott born, 27 Sept.
1880 40 Italian Capriccio for orchestra (Op.45) begun in Rome. Death of father, 21 Jan. Return to Russia, March. The Capriccio finished at Kamenka, spring. Visits Brailov and Simaki, summer. Serenade for Strings (Op.48) and 1812 Overture (Op. 49) finished at Kamenka, Oct. The latter was commissioned by N. Rubinstein for the Moscow Exhibition. Bloch born, 24 July; Medtner born, 5 Jan.; Offenbach (61) dies, 4 Oct; Pizzetti born, 20 Sept; Wieniawski (45) dies, 31 March.
1881 41 Production of The Maid of Orleans at the Maryinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 25 Feb. After a visit to Italy and France the Directorship of the Moscow Conservatoire, vacated by the death of N. Rubinstein, is offered to t., who declines it, April. Balakirev (44) also declines, but Hubert (41) accepts. T. spends the summer at Kamenka editing the Russian Church music of Bortnyansky, which he 'loathes'. Visits Rome and again meets Liszt (70). First performance of the Violin Concerto by Adolf Brodsky in Vienna, 4 Dec. Hanslick (56) criticized it vituperatively. Bartok born, 25 March; Myaskovsky born 20 April; Mussorgsky (42) dies, 28 March; N. Rubinstein (46) dies, 23 March; Vieuxtemps (61) dies, 6 June.
1882 42 First performance of Serenade for Strings in Moscow 28 Jan. Piano Trio (op 50) dedicated to the memory of N. Rubinstein, finished, Jan. First performance, at the Moscow Art and Industraial Exhibition, of the second Piano Concert, with Taneyev (26) as soloist, 30 May, and the 1812 Overture 20 Aug., at the consecration of the Cathedral of the Redeemer in the Kremlin. Kodaly born, 16 Dec; Malipiero born, 18 March; Raff (60) dies; Stravinsky born, 17 June
1883 43 Visits to Berlin and Paris, Jan-May. Opera Mazeppa, based on Pushkin's poem, Poltava finished, spring. Second Orchestral Suite (Op. 53) finished at Kamenka. Bax born, 6 Nov; Casella born, 25 July; Flotow (71) dies, 24 Jan; Gnyessin born, 4 Feb; A Krein born, 20 Oct.; Szymanowski born, 21 Sept.; Varese born, 22 Dec; Wagner (69) dies, 13 Feb.; Webern born, 3 Dec.
1884 44 Productions of Mazeppa in Moscow Dan St. Petersburg, Feb. Third Orchestral Suite (Op. 55) finished, July. Command performance of Eugene Onegin at the Imperial Opera in St. Petersburg Smetana (60) dies, 12 May
1885 45 Rents a house at Maidanovo near Klin, Feb. Is elected a director of the Moscow branch of the Russian Music Society. Composition of Manfred Symphony, undertaken on Balakirev's (48) advice, finished and that of the opera The Sorceress begun, Sept. Berg born, 7 Feb; Wellesz born, 21 Oct.
1886 46 First performance of Manfred in Moscow, March. Visit to Tiflis, where the Musical Society gives a concert and dinner in his honor, April. May and June spent in Paris, where he meets Delibes (50), Faure (41), Lalo (63), Thomas (75), and Pauline Viardot-Garcia (65). Return to Maidanovo end of June. Liszt (75) dies, 31 July; Ponchielli (52) dies, 17 Jan.
1887 47 First performance of Cherevichki, a new version of Vakula the Smith, 31 Jan., conducted by T himself, who also makes an appearance as concert conductor, at St Petersburg, with a programme of his own works, 17 March. Visit to his brother Anatol at Tiflis. Composes Mozartiana Suite (Op.61) Goes to Aachen to see his friend Kondratyev who is critically ill. Unsuccessful production of the Sorceress at ST. Petersburg, 1 Nov., but T's conducting of it praised. Borodin (54) dies, 28 Feb.
1888 48 Begins his first international tour as conductor at Leipzig, where he meets Brahms (55), Grieg (44) and Ethel Smyth (30). He conducts the Gewandhaus orchestra, Jan. Concerts conducted at Hamburg and Berlin, where he sees Desiree Artot (53) again. Visit to Prague, where he gives two concerts and meets Dvorak (47), Feb. Arrival in Paris, 24 Feb. Two concerts given there. Meeting with Gounod, Massenet and others. Conducts one RPS concert in London, March. After his return to Russia, T. takes possession of a house at Frolovskoye, April. Fifth Symphony in E minor (Op/64 ) finished, Aug. First performances, in St. Petersburg, of the Fifth Symphony, 17 Nov., and the Overture-fantasy Hamlet (Op. 67), 24 Nov.. Visit to Prague to conduct Eugene Onegin, Nov. Alexandrov born, 25 May; Alkan (75) dies, 29 March.

Geneva 1889
Tchaikovsky in Geneva, 1889
Picture taken by a street photographer.
1889 49 Second international concert tour. T. conducts at Cologne, Frankfurt, Dresden, Geneva and Hamburg, March. Visit to Paris and conducts another R.P.S. concert in London, April. ballet, The Sleeping Beauty (Op 66) finished at Frolovskoye, summer. T. conducts festival in honor of Rubinstein, (59) for which he has composed Greetings to A.G. Rubinstein and an Impromptu for piano, Nov. Henselt (75) dies, 10 Oct.
1890 50 Production of The Sleeping Beauty in St. Petersburg 15 Jan. Opera, The Queen of Spades, to a libretto of his brother Modest (40), based on Pushkin composed in Florence, Jan.-March. String Sextet, Souvenir de Florence (Op.70) composed at Frolovskoye, June. Rupture with Nadezhda von Meck (58), Sept. Composition of the Symphonic Ballad, The Voyevoda (Op. 78). The Queen of Spades produced in St. Petersburg with triumphant success, 19 Dec. Frank (68) dies, 8 Nov; Gade (73) dies, 21 Dec; Ibert born, 15 Aug; Frank Martin born 15 Sept; Martinu born, 8 Dec.
1891 51 Performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet with incidental music (op. 67a) by T., 21 Feb. St Petersburg Opera commissions a one act opera, Iolanta and a ballet Nutcracker, Feb. Visit to Paris in a state of nervous depression, March, en route for teh U.S.A. Hears of the death of his sister 'Sasha' (48). Arrival in New York, 26 April. Concerts conducted in New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia. First performance of the Symphonic Ballad The Voyevoda, at Siloti's (28) concert in Moscow 18 Nov. Bliss born, 2 Aug; Delibes (55) dies, 16 Jan; Prokofiev born, 23 April.
1892 52 Performance of Eugene Onegin conducted by Mahler (32) at Hamburg in the presence of T. who is very impressed. First performance of the Nutcracker Suite in St. Petersburg, 19 March. After a visit to Vich with his nephew Vladimir ("Bob") Davydov (21), T sets to work on a Symphony in e flat at his new country house at Klin, summer. Visits to Vienna, Salzburg and Prague. Production of Iolanta and the Nutcracker ballet in St. Petersburg, 18 Dec. Visits Fanny Durbach in Switzerland Honegger born, 10 March; Lalo (69) dies, 22; Milhaud born, 4 Sept.
1893 53 Concert conducted at Brussels, 14 Jan. After some performances conducted at Odessa, T returns to Klin, Feb. He abandons last year's sketches for a symphony and sets to work on Sixth Symphony in B minor (Op. 74) (Pathetique), sketches a Concerto movement derived from the discarded symphony, writes 18 piano pieces (op.72) and Six Songs (Op.73). Royal Philharmonic concert conducted in London 1 June. At Cambridge the honorary degree of Doctor of Music is conferred on T., Boito (51), Bruch (55), Saint-Saens (58) and Grieg (50), the last being absent, 13 June. A concert of works by these composers and by Standford (41) is given. Return to Russia, 30 June. Sixth Symphony performed in St. Petersburg under T's direction, 28 Oct. He died here on 6 Nov. The manner of his death has been a cause of controversy: either, as alleged by Alexandra Orlova, he committed suicide by taking poison, after a 'kangaroo' court of his contemporaries at the School of Jurisprudence had insisted on this to avoid a scandal over a homosexual episode that would have brought disrepute to the school, or, as stated by Modest in his biography of T., he died of cholera.
Street Funeral
Funeral in the city streets, 28 Oct 1893
Gounod (75) dies, 18 Oct; Albeniz 33; Alexandrov 5; Arensky 32; Balakirev 56; Bantock 25; Bartok 12; Bax 10; Berg 8; Bliss 2; Bloch 13; Boito 51; Brahms 60; Bridge 14; Bruch 55; Bruckner 69; Busoni 27; Casella 10 Catoire 32; Chabrier 52; Chausson 38; Cui 58; Debussy 31; Delius 31; Dohnanyi 16; Dukas 28; Duparc 45; Dvorak 52; Elgar 36; Falla 17; Faure 48; Glazunov 28; Gliere 17; Gnyessin 10; Goldmark 63; Granados 26; Grechaninov 29; Grieg 50; Holst 19; Honegger 1; Humperdinck 39; d'Indy 42; Ippolitov-Ivanov 34; Ireland 14; Janacek 39; Kalinnikov 27; Kodaly 11; Korseschenko 23; G. Krein 13; A Krein 10; Leoncavallo 35; Lyadov 38; Lyapunov 34; MacDowell 32; Mackenzie 46; Mahler 33; Malipiero 11; Massenet 51; Mascagni 30; Medtner 13; Myaskovsky 12; Milhaud 1; Novak 23; Parry 45; Pedrell 52; Pfitzner 24; Pizzetti 13; Prokofiev 2; Puccini 35; Rakhmaninov 20; Ravel 18; Rebikov 27; Reger 20; Reinecke 69; Respighi 14; Rimsky-Korsakov 49; Roussel 24; A Rubinstein 63; Saint Saens 58; Schmitt 23; Schoenberg 19; Scott 14; Skryabin 21; Sibelius 28; Sinding 36; Smyth 35; Sokolov 34; Stainer 53; Stanford 41; Stassov 69; Strauss (J. ii) 68; R. Strauss 29; Stravinsky 11; Suk 19; Sullivan 51; Svendsen 53; Szymanowski 10; Taneyev 37; N. Tcherepnin 20; Thomas 82; Vassilenko 21; Vaughan Williams 21; Wolf 33.

Credit: written by Edward Garden in The Dent Master Musicans: Tchaikovsky


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