May 7th marks Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s birthday. This famous 19th century composer was born in Russia, into a family with one sister and five brothers. He was a highly sensitive child who showed great talent at age 4, when he started studying piano. At age 19, he began working with the Ministry of Justice. Two years later, he began studying at the St. petersberg Conservatory with Anton Rubenstein. In 1866, Tchaikovsky moved back to Moscow and early one morning, in a dining room at an inn there, he wrote the first draft of his first symphony. By 1877, Tchaikovsky was a well known composer and his ballet, Swan Lake, premiered. In addition to symphonies and ballets, Tchaikovsky also wrote other orchestral works, operas, piano works, vocal works, and chamber works.
A great book to help you learn all about Tchaikovsky in your homeschool is The Story of Peter Tchaikovsky.