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St. Petersburg Honors Tchaikovsky With Special Day

Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- St. Petersburg has been marking October 12 as Pyotr Tchaikovsky Day in memory of Russia's most prominent romantic composer, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Tchaikovsky's music is being played on local radio stations and in the city metro all day and leading international musicians will perform a concert of Tchaikovsky's works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra's main concert hall.

The concert will be shown live on a big screen to thousands of others outside a central shopping mall.

Oasis production center General Director Yekaterina Galanova, an organizer of Tchaikovsky Day, told RFE/RL that "the initiative originated with the chairman of St. Petersburg's Culture Committee, Anton Gubankov, and our company is implementing the project."

Noting that Tchaikovsky spent important stages of his career in St. Petersburg, Galanova said such a commemoration is long overdue. City officials say they want it to become an annual event.

Galanova added that October 12 was chosen as Tchaikovsky Day because it was the only date on which it was possible to bring the world's leading classical music performers to St. Petersburg.

Galanova said the concerts held on the special day will include lesser-known works by "the great master," who graduated from St. Petersburg's Imperial School of Jurispudence in 1859 and began his career at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.

Tchaikovsky, who died in 1893, wrote symphonies, operas, and such world-famous ballets as "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," and "The Nutcracker."

Read more in Russian here