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Tchaikovsky was a Shakespeare fan. If you don’t believe it, just consider the number of his works inspired by the Bard: Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasia, Hamlet Overture-Fantasia, Incidental music to Hamlet, and The TempestFantasia.

Shakespeare has always inspired composers, including Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Britten and Thomas Adès.

Tchaikovsky’s The Tempest was suggested by Vladimir Stassov. He gave Tchaikovsky an outline of the play, that served as the musical narrative. Tchaikovsky’s music evokes a stormy sea, the love between Miranda and Ferdinand, and the magic of Ariel.

Watch Gustavo Dudamel talk about his recording project featuring the Shakespearean works of Tchaikovsky, and don’t miss Kentucky Shakespeare’s performances this summer!

Daniel Gilliam is the weekday afternoon host (1-3pm) on 90.5 WUOL Classical Louisville, and director of radio for Louisville Public Media.