The man

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Tchaikovsky once wrote that his whole life was spent 'regretting the past and hoping for the future, never being satisfied with the present'. This feeling of unease and dissatisfaction with life imbued much of his music, particularly in his later years, when the disasters of his personal life found expression in music of extraordinary emotional anguish and tragic drama. In these forceful, highly individual works, couched in an intensely lyrical idiom and scored in rich orchestral colours, Tchaikovsky laid bare his personality with vivid immediacy, bequeathing to the repertory a range of symphonies, concertos, and operas which have remained enduringly popular and affecting.