oil painting of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Music of Tchaikovsky

An Exploration of the Works and Compositional Style of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Feb 24, 2020, 8 PM
Pendleton Grand Music Salon (Pendleton West 201)
Free and open to the public

This presentation by Alexander Vavilov, founding member of the Sheffield Chamber Players, focuses on the significance of Tchaikovsky’s style of composition and its unique traits, following its development through his life. The sense of “Russianness” in his music for the most part comes from its emotional content. Tchaikovsky’s genius lies in his uncanny ability to penetrate deep into the soul of his people, transform those insights through the prism of his own experience and express it by musical means. As a result, his compositions astound as both detailed and large-scale studies of human emotion and psychology, truthful and at times extreme in their depiction. In his own words, it’s a “musical confession of the soul, which unburdens itself through sounds just as a lyric poet expresses himself through poetry.”

The presentation will focus on tracing these traits of Tchaikovsky’s music through several of his prominent works in different genres. Using audio-visual materials, we will dive into his writing and explore how he applied his compositional principles in practice. We will also observe the dramatic change that his style undergoes through the years. Audience questions are welcome both during and at the end of the presentation.


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Generously supported by:

the Maria Opasnov Tyler ’52 Fund.

Image Credit:

Portrait by Nikolai Kuznetsov, 1893.