Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was possibly the greatest Russian composer of all time. He is best known for his ballet music, including "Sleeping Beauty" and "Swan Lake", but is also famous for his orchestral music such as the 1812 Overture.
Tchaikovsky was also, to a certain extent, a tortured genius. He suffered from severe emotional troubles as a child and his adult life was a series of ups and downs with lovers of both sexes. It is suspected that he may have committed suicide.