August 30, 1865 — Tchaikovsky’s Characteristic Dances is first performed in Pavlovsk

Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky when he was only 24, “Characteristic Dances” was the first of his pieces to be publicly performed. Tchaikovsky himself was not present for the performance, which was conducted by Johann Strauss (itself an honour to a neophyte composer). However, he was pleased with both the fact of the performance and its reception.

Amazingly, “Characteristic Dances” has never been published, and exists today only in a modified form, as Tchaikovsky reworked it as “Dances of the Chambermaids” in his 1867 opera, “The Voyevoda”, and this is the form that they were recorded and popularised in. However, despite its obscurity, the public performance of his works was a turning point in the career of Tchaikovsky, and marked the first step to his becoming one of the best known of all Russian composers.

A clean-shaven man in his teens wearing a dress shirt, tie and dark jacket.
By Unknown. Uploaded to the English language Wikipedia in February 2007 by Jonyungk (log). – Music 33: Tchaikovsky: Early Portrait at Dartmouth College. Image is in the Bettmann collection (BE040514 and BJ001276 on http://pro.corbis.com). First known publication: 1953 postcard in Russia.[1] No copyrights were registered for this postcard., Public Domain, Link

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