Little Peter was born in the small mining town of Votkinsk, Russia, not far from the border of Asia. His father was a mine inspector. Miss Wheeler has shown sympathetically yet quite frankly what a nervous, unpredictable child Peter was and how his love for music, even as a very little boy, was almost greater than he could bear.
Any sort of routine or application to work was impossible for him, and as a result, when a young man he could not bring himself to practice law. However, music still beckoned, and under the great Anton Rubinstein, he made certain progress. Here again, though, he broke all the established rules for composing and drove his master to despair. It was early one morning, seated at a table in the deserted dining room of an inn, that he wrote the first draft of his first symphony.
Here is a fascinating picture of Tchaikovsky the brilliant composer and delightful companion. It is perfect for young readers. (88 minutes in length)
You can listen to the first chapter here.