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Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom, Episode 28: Tchaikovsky’s musical biography, “Pathetique” – harbinger of doom?

Was Tchaikovsky's Symphony VI (aka "Pathetique", aka "Suicide Symphony") a suicide note or did he die of cholera as was the Official Word? You decide after this intweeging lesson with Rice University's Michael Webster!


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Audio production by Todd “Toddlana” Hulslander with wistful sighs and starings into space from Dacia Clay.

All music used in this episode was played by the Houston Youth Symphony, of which Prof. Webster is the Artistic Director and Conductor. Like what you hear? Go hear HYS play this piece (Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique) live in their Side-by-Side Concert with the Houston Symphony. For more information, go to!