Peter Tchaikovsky has been a very influential person in the music world during and even after his death. The many symphonies, concertos, operas, and ballets that he has written set the standards for the composers that followed him, and much of his music has never been surpassed. Many critics have clamed that music that is composed for ballets are not as musically demanding as composing a symphony or concerto. However, Tchaikovsky believed that ballet music deserved just as much musical imagination as opera or any other form of music. Therefore, he wrote his ballets so that they actually told a story, they weren't just music for the dancers to dance to. Tchaikovsky got his start composing music for opera, which then soon led to composing symphonies and then ballets. Although it was his ballets and symphonies that made him famous he also wrote some of the best operas of all time. .
Peter Tchaikovsky was born on May 7 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia. In his early years, his family was quite wealthy because his father was an engineer. His mother died when he was just 14 years old, so Peter and brothers and sister were mostly raised, and schooled by a French governess. It is not quite certain the correct spelling of Peter Ilyich Tchikovsky's name although many people have accepted this spelling. Some of the alternative spellings are Petr Ilich Chaikovshy, and Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky. As a child Tchaikovsky did not show any extraordinary musical skills, he was a high strung child that rarely concentrated much on anything. No one would have ever expected him to be one of the greatest composers of all time.
Tchaikovsky attributed his love for music to come from growing up in a place "saturated with the miraculous beauty of Russian folk song" (Encyclopedia of World Biography). He began his formal school training at the school of Jurisprudence in St. Petersburg Russia. He studied law and government, but he also took some music lessons on the side.