What happens when you absentmindedly nibble on an important legal document, ruining it for your employer? Read Peter Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker Ballet to see how the abrupt end of the great composer's unhappy apprenticeship in law opens the door to a musical career of world recognition. Young readers will be swept into the vivid story of a young man whose family sees his failure as a disgrace but who seizes the opportunity to pursue—and perhaps capture—the music that always sings in his head. When he leaves St. Petersburg to teach in Moscow, he takes the first decisive step on his colorful but difficulty-paved road to fame. Always enchanted with the world of childhood and far more at ease in it than in the more demanding world of adults, Peter begins to write ballets for his sister Alexandra's children. The Sleeping Beauty is followed by Swan Lake, and finally he creates The Nutcracker Ballet, which assures his place in the hearts of generations.
The Opal Wheeler Series, written more than 50 years ago, is among the first biographies of great composers penned for children. The series pulls back the curtain to reveal the lives and times behind these classical greats, exploring the people, places, and events that influenced the masters and the beautiful music they created.