I grew up in a quiet spot and was saturated from earliest childhood with the wonderful beauty of Russian popular song. I am therefore constantly devoted to every expression of the Russian spirit… As to this national element in my work, its affinity with folk songs in some of my melodies and harmonies comes from my early years in the country. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Quoted in Music Lovers Quotations, edited by Helen Exley.
Tchaikovsky was the first Russian composer to make a lasting impression internationally. He is famous for his ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Perhaps his most well-known work, The 1812 Overture, is widely quoted. His style is notable for its beautiful, soaring melodies, such as those found in his Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.