Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s life – and premature death – has long been mythologised and misunderstood. A shy, emotional child, Tchaikovsky came late to composing as a career. Doubting himself at every turn and keenly wounded by criticism, he went on to become one of the world’s best-loved composers. Yet behind the success lay sadness: the death of his mother haunted him all his life, while his incessant attempts to suppress his homosexuality took a huge toll. From his disastrous marriage to his extraordinary relationship with his female patron, his many amorous liaisons and his devotion to friends and family, Tchaikovsky: The Man Revealed shows us how the complexity of Tchaikovsky’s emotional life plays out in his music. Long hidden behind sanitised depictions by his brother and the Russian authorities, John Suchet examines the complex and contradictory character of this great artist, and how he came to take his rightful place among the world’s greatest composers.
John Suchet, acclaimed ITN reporter and newscaster is also an authority on classical music and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. Currently presenter of Classic FM’s flagship morning programme, he writes with great authority, drawing back the curtain to show us the real man behind the music.