The Nutcracker is a famous ballet that is commonly performed during the Christmas season in the United States. However, even many people who have never seen the ballet are familiar with parts of the musical composition that is also commonly played around Christmas. The story for the ballet was adapted from “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” which was a story about a Nutcracker, which was a Christmas toy, that comes alive and defeats and evil mouse king. If you have ever wondered who composed the music for this famous ballet, keep reading to find out.
Who composed The Nutcracker?
The Nutcracker was composed by the famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1892. He had great success with Swan Lake (1876) and Sleeping Beauty (1889) and the director of the Imperial Theatres commissioned a double program that would include and opera and ballet. Tchaikovsky worked with choreographer Marius Petipa who had very detailed instructions for the talented composer. Tchaikovsky did not enjoy working within these instructions, but agreed to finish the composition.
The premier of The Nutcracker came in December 1892 where it was performed at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. This performance was not a success, but Tchaikovsky’s composition was well received. It was first performed in the United States in 1944 and again in 1954 and by the 1960′s the tradition of performing the ballet at Christmas time spread across the country. The ballet has also been adapted into many film and television productions.