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Russian biopic on life of Tchaikovsky to scrub his sexuality

A new biopic on composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky which has been partly funded by the Russian Government will depict him as heterosexual despite hard evidence of his homosexuality
Tchaikovsky with his lover Iosif Kotek

A forthcoming Russian film that claims to tell the story of the life of the composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky will portray him as a heterosexual who is dogged by gay rumors despite his own statements and statements by his brother that he was homosexual.

The film, which has been partially funded by the Russian Government, will portray the composer of Swan Lake and the Nut Cracker as ‘a person without a family who has been stuck with the opinion that he supposedly loves men,’ according to screenwriter Yuri Arabov.

An earlier version of the script reportedly showed Tchaikovsky suffering over his love for a younger man but Arabov told Izvestiya that the shooting script ‘has absolutely no homosexuality - it's entirely not about that.’

Tchaikovsky married Antonina Miliukova, a former student, in 1877 so as not to scandalize his family but had a series of male lovers throughout his life including the composer Iosif Kotek who helped him with some of his compositions and who had also been one of his students.

Tchaikovsky and Miliukova only lived together for two and a half months before living separately for the rest of their lives. They never divorced but Miliukova had three children to another man.

Tchaikovsky wrote of his marriage to his brother Anatoly that there was ‘nothing more futile than wanting to be anything other than what I am by nature.’

The film’s producers have said that the film will conform with Russia’s ban on so-called homosexual propaganda in what may be the first time the law has been cited to curb artistic freedom.

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