The 1870s were years of remarkable creative fertility for Tchaikovsky, with
masterpieces such as the opera Eugene Onegin, the ballet Swan Lake and the Fourth
Symphony. But these were also years of crisis: against his better judgement and in
contradiction of his homosexuality, Tchaikovsky married Antonina Milyukova. The
resulting tensions and separation were immensely painful to him, and he even
attempted suicide. It was at this time also that he began his remarkable relationship with his patroness Nadezhda von Meck, whose generosity was hugely important to his work.
Our weekend will explore aspects of Tchaikovsky’s life and music from these years.