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Peter Tchaikovsky

A Russian musical composer in the mid to late 1800's, during the Romantic era. His works included well known ballet musics such as Swan Lake, Sleeping beauty, and the Nutcracker. He also wrote opera, songs, string quartet, piano sonata, concerto, symphony, and symphonic poems. He has also composed program music for Shakespearean plays like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. His artistic influence at that time spread through Europe and America. The talent he expressed was unparalleled by anyone since his time. His popularity was immediate and wide-ranged, but his life was a sad one.

As a homosexual, he was unhappily married. He was extremely depressed and suicidal because of the social pressure he faced. He once jumped off a bridge into a river in the middle of a fierce Russian winter. He was rescued, and ended up with a chronic lung problem. He died at the age of 53 because of cholera.

Tchaikovsky should not be a strange name to any of us, but many do not know that he was gay, although well documented. He is part of our legend, yet another brilliant, but sad hero.