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Thread: Was Tchaikovsky a Homosexual?

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    Senior Member Clouds Weep Snowflakes's Avatar
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    Default Was Tchaikovsky a Homosexual?

    Is it true he had an affair with a man? Did he have any relations with women at some point?

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Depends whom you talk to. Some Russians (also here on TC) claim that he was heterosexual. Most of the rest of the world thinks otherwise. He sure loved big cannons...

    The truth might have been he was bi - according to biographies, he really loved his one-time fiancee Belgian soprano Désirée Artôt, but his later marriage to Antonina Miliukova was a train wreck.
    Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig ... ewig ...

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    The really big question is - who really cares? His music speaks for itself and his sexual orientation has zero impact on that.
    Remember that the lesser of two evils is still evil

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    He had a beard and liked musicals. Course he was gay!
    Last edited by Merl; Mar-19-2019 at 18:47.

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    The really big question is - who really cares? His music speaks for itself and his sexual orientation has zero impact on that.
    Too often, the "official" narratives of classical music history have left the impression that only straight white males can be great composers. It's worthwhile having a few reminders that this isn't the case.
    Alan

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    Too often, the "official" narratives of classical music history have left the impression that only straight white males can be great composers. It's worthwhile having a few reminders that this isn't the case.
    Benjamin Britten springs to mind too. One of my favourite composers.
    Remember that the lesser of two evils is still evil

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    Benjamin Britten springs to mind too. One of my favourite composers.
    Yes, and he springs to your mind in this particular context only because you know he was gay. That knowledge doesn't add to or detract from his music, but it does contribute to a more rounded picture of what a composer can be.
    Alan

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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    Too often, the "official" narratives of classical music history have left the impression that only straight white males can be great composers. It's worthwhile having a few reminders that this isn't the case.
    The Americans took up the slack in the 20th Century regarding homosexual composers, with Virgil Thomson, John Corigliano, Ned Rorem, David Diamond, Aaron Copland - I'm sure the list is bigger than I can recall. Unless the qualifier is "great," however you define that. I think they're pretty darned good.

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    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Samuel Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti were a couple.

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    John Corigliano and Mark Adamo are married. (That's probably in that link above, but oh well).

    EDIT: Just looked at the list. Damn, there's a lot of folks I didn't know were LGBT! Nice to see such a plentiful representation.
    Last edited by amfortas; Mar-20-2019 at 00:38.
    Alan

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    Senior Member Clouds Weep Snowflakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    The really big question is - who really cares? His music speaks for itself and his sexual orientation has zero impact on that.
    Don't get me wrong, I love Tchaikovsky, his three ballets are some of my favorite pieces of music ever, I was just quite surprised to learn about his sexual orientation...

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Sexual orientation may be mildly interesting, but ultimately has no bearing on enjoying their music nor on how their music was written.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasks View Post
    Sexual orientation may be mildly interesting, but ultimately has no bearing on enjoying their music nor on how their music was written.
    But I *would* maintain sexual orientation had a significant influence on Britten's choice of subject matter for some of his operas.
    Alan

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    Yes, and he springs to your mind in this particular context only because you know he was gay. That knowledge doesn't add to or detract from his music, but it does contribute to a more rounded picture of what a composer can be.
    Yeah, gay or straight or bi like the other 7 billion humans on the planet.
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

    - Marcia Bjornerud, Geologist

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