Paper Title

[2.2] How Did Tchaikovsky’s Homosexuality Affect His Life, Death, and Legacy?

Location

Arts & Education Building 162, Moderated by Dr. Claire Laville

Start Date

18-1-2019 3:30 PM

End Date

18-1-2019 4:45 PM

Disciplines

History | History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of the most renowned and well known composers in the world. The fact he was a homosexual man in Russia is not as well known. This paper examines how Tchaikovsky’s homosexuality affected his life, death, and legacy. The prominence of homosexuality in 19th century Russia, as well as the societal response to such cases, is detailed. Many historians used Tchaikovsky’s homosexuality to claim his life was full of guilt, his death was a possible suicide, and many of his compositions are not quality pieces. Excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s letters revealing details about his personal life and internal feelings, refute the two former claims. A number of important relationships in Tchaikovsky’s life, and their impact on the Russian composer, are reviewed. Additionally, the bias of historians who disregard Tchaikovsky's musical talent is revealed. Literary works, such as Edward Garden’s Tchaikovsky, make false claims about Tchaikovsky, his sexual orientation, and homosexuality in general, as historians allow their own bias to influence their opinions of Tchaikovsky’s music, and beliefs about his death. This paper argues that Tchaikovsky was confident with his sexuality, and that the stories of Tchaikovsky’s death, and the status of his legacy, have been negatively influenced by false assumptions about his homosexuality.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

Import Event to Google Calendar

COinS
 
Jan 18th, 3:30 PM Jan 18th, 4:45 PM

[2.2] How Did Tchaikovsky’s Homosexuality Affect His Life, Death, and Legacy?

Arts & Education Building 162, Moderated by Dr. Claire Laville

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of the most renowned and well known composers in the world. The fact he was a homosexual man in Russia is not as well known. This paper examines how Tchaikovsky’s homosexuality affected his life, death, and legacy. The prominence of homosexuality in 19th century Russia, as well as the societal response to such cases, is detailed. Many historians used Tchaikovsky’s homosexuality to claim his life was full of guilt, his death was a possible suicide, and many of his compositions are not quality pieces. Excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s letters revealing details about his personal life and internal feelings, refute the two former claims. A number of important relationships in Tchaikovsky’s life, and their impact on the Russian composer, are reviewed. Additionally, the bias of historians who disregard Tchaikovsky's musical talent is revealed. Literary works, such as Edward Garden’s Tchaikovsky, make false claims about Tchaikovsky, his sexual orientation, and homosexuality in general, as historians allow their own bias to influence their opinions of Tchaikovsky’s music, and beliefs about his death. This paper argues that Tchaikovsky was confident with his sexuality, and that the stories of Tchaikovsky’s death, and the status of his legacy, have been negatively influenced by false assumptions about his homosexuality.