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Who Composed Swan Lake

Swan Lake is a Russian ballet that has been performed many times throughout the world. It is a favorite for ballet recitals and professional ballet companies alike. Although the ballet was composed in 1876, most performances of Swan Lake today are actually based on the 1895 revival version of the ballet. If you have ever wondered who composed Swan Lake and the later revival version that is best known today, continue reading to discover the answer.

Who composed Swan Lake?
The original composition for Swan Lake was completed by the famous Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. He began work on Swan Lake in 1875 and finished it in 1876. The first performance of Swan Lake was in 1877 at the famous Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The choreography of the original production was completed by Julius Reisinger.

There was talk about revising Swan Lake in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, but Tchaikovsky died in 1893 and historians do not know whether he was planning to revise the score himself. The 1895 revival of Swan Lake is still mostly based on the Tchaikovsky composition, but was heavily revised by Italian composer Riccardo Drigo. Drigo made some considerable changes, including lengthening and shortening passages of the composition. The choreography of the 1895 Swan Lake revival was completed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov (2nd and 4th scenes). It has since become one of the greatest ballets of all time.

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