began piano lessons at the age of five; attended the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in St. Petersburg where he studied to be a civil servant; later attended classes organized by the Russian Musical Society (precursor to St. Petersburg Conservatory)
opera Eugene Onegin, ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, 1812 Overture
was a professor of music at the Moscow Conservatory and became a music critic and conductor, through which he promoted Russian music
honored in 1884 by Tsar Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension in the late 1880s
"Music is not illusion, but revelation rather. Its triumphant power resides in the fact that it reveals to us beauties we find nowhere else, and that the apprehension of them is not transitory, but a perpetual reconcilement to life."