Odesa (Одеса) is a seaport and
resort city on the Black Sea coast, and the fourth-largest city in Ukraine,
being the capital of the Odesa district (Одеська міськрада)
and Odesa oblast (Одеська область). During Tchaikovsky's
lifetime it was known as Odessa (Одесса), and
was the administrative centre of the Odessa district (Одесский
уезд) in the Nikolayevsk province (Николаевская губерния)
of the Russian Empire.
Tchaikovsky visited Odessa on two occasions:
- 11/23 July–12/24 July 1887 — the composer was impressed on his arrival
in the Odessa, attending a concert in the city gardens, and visiting the cathedral
the next day. He found the latter to be "Grand, but not appealing. The singing
was unimpressive, and the selection simply disgraceful. As always I was enraged
by the singing. It's only in the countryside that I can listen without being
- 12/24 January–25 January/6 February 1893 — rehearsing and conducting five
concerts (see below), as well as attending rehearsals and a production of The Queen of Spades by Ivan Grekov's opera company (19/31
January). During his stay in the city he was also guest of honour at a dinner
in the English Club, and he sat for a portrait by the leading artist Nikolay Kuznetsov. "Odessa
is a very attractive city, but this current winter is as severe as in the
north, and it therefore resembles any northern city in the midst of winter.
The sea is frozen for tens of versts" 
Tchaikovsky's concert schedule in Odessa was as follows:
Afterwards the composer wrote: "Never have I been so exhausted from conducting
as in Odessa because I had to conduct five concerts, but nowhere have I been
so praised and feted as here... There were many intolerable heavy hours (e.g.
the festival dinner at the English club), but also many gratifying ones. If
only I could be lauded one tenth as much in the capitals as I was in Odessa!" [3.
Please note that we are not responsible for the content of other internet
- Diary entry for 12/24 July 1887 [back]
- Letter 4850 to Anna Merkling, 24 January/5 February
- Letter 4852 to Modest Tchaikovsky, 28 January/9 February