Piotr Ilyich Tchaïkovsky was born on May, 7th 1840 in Russia, in Oural. His father was an enginner of Ukrainian descent who served as a lieutenant colonel in the Department of Mines and his mother was really a beautiful woman but suffered from psychic instabilitie. When he was 5 y.o, he received his first piano lessons. Really passionate by the music, he started to study composition and instrumentation with Anton Rubinstein. On June 1854, the composer suffered the shock of his mother’s death from cholera. Tchaïkovsky’s career really started in 1869. In 1876, he began a 13-year association with Nadezha Von Meck, a wealthy widow. Her support became an important element in Tchaïkovsky’s life because she paid and allowed him to resign from the Moscow Conservatory in 1878 to concentrate on compisition. From 1880, he often made trips to Florence in one of Miss Von Meck’s property. There, he will compose several masterpieces as The Queen of Spades. On November 6th, 1893, Tchaïkovsky, like his mother, died from cholera !! He leave behind him some immortal classical masterpieces such as Swan Lake (composed in 1876, he will have to wait 19 years until this ballet would be performed in Saint Petersburg), The Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Eugène Onéguine, Mazeppa, The Queen of Spades.