Ref: C3743225

Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky is regarded as one of the greatest of all the Russian composers. His opera 'Eugene Onegin', based on the poem by Alexander Pushkin, is performed in countries all over the world. His three great ballets 'Swan Lake', 'The Sleeping Beauty' and 'The Nutcracker' are internationally renowned as, too, are his great symphonies and orchestral works. But Tchaikovsky was not a happy man and there is no doubt that his personal problems provided his musical compositions with exceptional depth and profundity. The purpose of this course is to examine the many facets of Tchaikovsky's life and work, including his disastrous marriage, his importance as a teacher, his sacred choral works, his great orchestral showpieces and symphonies, and, in particular, discussion of his operas and ballets. Attractively illustrated with CDs and DVDs, this unique course will provide an insight not only into Tchaikovsky but of Russian culture in its so-called 'Golden Age'.

Course aim

To provide an outline of Tchaikovsky's life and works, including discussion of his operas, ballets, symphonic, chamber and vocal music. The course is beautifully illustrated with CDs and DVDs.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Show a deep understanding of Tchaikovsky as a person and a composer and be able to discuss this.
  • Name some of the finest music written in Russia in the nineteenth century and be able to express preferences.
  • name some of the features of Russian opera, especially 'Eugen Onegin' and 'The Queen of Spades'.
  • Be able to explain the significance of Tchaikovsky;s great ballets as revealed by excellent DVDs
  • Evaluate Russia's place in world music.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • A reading list will be provided for students at the beginning of the course. Each session will be accompanied by extensive notes written by the tutor..Discussion will be encouraged.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full course information sheet



As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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