- See also Chronological List of Works.
The following is adapted from the chronology published in The Tchaikovsky Handbook, volume 1 (2002), pages xxxi-xli.
- 25 April/7 May – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is born in Votkinsk, some 600 miles east of Moscow; second son of Ilya Tchaikovsky, a mining engineer, and Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya (b. Assier); has an older brother Nikolay (born 9/21 May 1838) and paternal half-sister Zinayda (born 1829).
- 28 December/9 January 1842 – Birth of his sister Aleksandra ("Sasha").
- 10 April/22 April – Birth of his brother Ippolit.
- August – With his sister Aleksandra, he composes a song "Our Mama in Petersburg".
- November – Fanny Dürbach becomes governess to the Tchaikovsky family.
- He takes up piano lessons with Mariya Palchikova.
- He begins to write poetry at school.
- September – Fanny Dürbach leaves her position as governess, and the Tchaikovsky family moves from Votkinsk to Moscow.
- November – His family moves to Saint Petersburg, where Tchaikovsky is sent to a boarding school and continues his music lessons with a private teacher.
- May – His family moves from Saint Petersburg to Alapayevsk in the Ural Mountains, where his father is appointed manager of a metallurgical plant.
- 1 May/13 May – Birth of his twin brothers Anatoly ("Tolya") and Modest ("Modya").
- 22 August/3 September – He sees a production of Mikhail Glinka's opera A Life for the Tsar, which makes a lasting impression.
- September – He enrols in the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg.
- October – He sees a production of Adolphe Adam's ballet Giselle, with Carlotta Grisi.
- May – His family moves from Alapayevsk to join him in Saint Petersburg.
- summer – He sings the soprano part of a coloratura duet from Rossini's Semiramide with his aunt Yekaterina Alekseyeva.
- autumn – He takes part in a trio in the Liturgy at the School of Jurisprudence, and becomes an active participant in the Schools choir.
- He forms a friendship with his schoolmate Aleksey Apukhtin.
- January – Marriage of his half-sister Zinayda to Yevgeny Olkhovsky.
- 13 June/25 June – Death of his mother Aleksandra from cholera.
- August – The Anastasie-valse is his earliest known attempt at written-down composition.
- He starts piano lessons with Rudolf Kündinger.
- While boarding at the boys-only School of Jurisprudence, the first signs of his innate homosexual sensibilities become apparent, and he becomes infatuated with his schoolfriend Sergey Kireyev.
- He makes the acquaintance of the Italian singer and voice teacher Luigi Piccioli, who is the first person to recognize his musical talent and significantly influences his musical development.
- Under the influence of Piccioli, he becomes an enthusiastic admirer of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti. Mozart's Don Giovanni also has a profound impact.
- autumn – He makes his first attempt at conducting the school choir, at the request of singing master Gavryl Lomakin.
- 13 May/25 May – He graduates from the Imperial School of Jurisprudence.
- June – He begins work as a civil servant in the Ministry of Justice.
- While employed at the Ministry of Justice, he becomes a ‘man-about-town', and enjoys operas, theatres and concerts in Saint Petersburg.
- 6 November/18 November – His sister Aleksandra marries Lev Davydov and moves to her husband's family estate at Kamenka in the Ukraine.
- spring – He indulges in many homosexual escapades, until the risk of scandal grows.
- July–August – He travels outside Russia for the first time, to Berlin, Hamburg, Antwerp, Brussels, Ostend, London and Paris.
- autumn – He begins studying harmony in Nikolay Zaremba's music classes in Saint Petersburg, opened by the RMS.
- 8 September/20 September – Birth of his eldest niece Tatyana ("Tanya"), to his sister Aleksandra.
- He enrols as a student in the newly-opened Saint Petersburg Conservatory.
- The song Mezza notte becomes his first published composition.
- spring – He attends all six of Richard Wagner's concerts in Saint Petersburg.
- 11 April/23 April – He resigns from the Ministry of Justice to concentrate on studying music.
- 16 May/28 May – He is deeply impressed by a performance of Aleksandr Serov's opera Judith.
- summer – He stays with Aleksey Apukhtin at Pavlodar.
- autumn – He resumes his study of music theory under Zaremba and begins composition classes with Anton Rubinstein.
- winter – He starts to give private piano lessons.
- June–August – He spends his summer vacation from the conservatory with his society friend Aleksey Golitsyn at Trostinets in Ukraine. Here he writes his first orchestral piece, The Storm.
- autumn – He meets the composer Aleksandr Serov in Saint Petersburg.
- His brothers Anatoly and Modest learn of Tchaikovsky's homosexuality from their schoolfriends.
- His father Ilya marries for a third time, to Yelizaveta Lipport.
- summer – He spends his summer vacation with his brothers Modest and Anatoly at Kamenka, where he sketches his Overture in C minor.
- July–September – He translates Gevaert's Handbook for Instrumentaion.
- 30 August/11 September – Premiere of the Characteristic Dances in Pavlovsk conducted by Johann Strauss II (the first public performance of any of his works).
- 30 October/11 November – Premiere of the String Quartet in B-flat major at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.
- December November– – He works on his graduation cantata Ode to Joy.
- 27 November/9 December – Premiere of the Overture in F major at the Mikhaylovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg, conducted by Tchaikovsky.
- 29 December/10 January 1866 – Premiere of the cantata Ode to Joy at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory Graduation examinations, which earns him a silver medal.
- January – He leaves Saint Petersburg to become teacher of musical theory in the classes of the Moscow branch of the RMS.
- February – He revises his Overture in F major.
- 4 March/16 March – premiere of the revised Overture in F major in Moscow.
- May–July – He spends the summer with his sister's mother-in-law and her daughters Vera and Yelizaveta Davydova, and with his brother Modest in Peterhof, while sketching his Symphony No. 1.
- July–August – He suffers from physical exhaustion as a result of overwork on the symphony.
- 1 September/13 September – He becomes employed at the newly-opened Moscow Conservatory, with Nikolay Rubinstein as its director.
- November September– – He works on his Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem.
- 29 January/10 February – Premiere of the Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem in Moscow.
- 8/20 March – He starts work on his first opera, The Voyevoda.
- June–August – He visits Finland and then spends the summer with the Davydovs at Hapsal [Haapsalu] in Estonia, where Vera Davydova becomes infatuated with him.
- July – He confides in Modest and Anatoly about his homosexuality.
- December – He meets the French composer Hector Berlioz, who conducts two concerts in Moscow.
- 3 February/15 February – Premiere of the Symphony No. 1 in Moscow, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein.
- 19 February/2 March – He unsuccessfully conducts his Characteristic Dances at a charity concert in Moscow.
- March – He writes his first music review article, Regarding Mr Rimsky-Korsakov's "Serbian Fantasy".
- April – He meets Mily Balakirev, Aleksandr Borodin, César Cui, Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky and Vladimir Stasov, during a trip to Saint Petersburg.
- 29 July/10 August — He completes work on The Voyevoda.
- summer – He travels to Berlin and Paris with his friend Vladimir Shilovsky.
- September – He becomes romantically involved with the opera singer Désirée Artôt.
- September-December – He composes and scores the symphonic fantasia Fatum.
- Publication by Jurgenson of the Scherzo à la russe and Impromptu in E-flat minor as his "Op. 1".
- January – He learns of Désirée Artôt's marriage to Mariano Padilla-y-Ramos.
- January–July – He writes his second opera, Undina.
- 30 January/11 February – Premiere of The Voyevoda at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
- 15 February/27 February – Premiere of the symphonic fantasia Fatum in Moscow.
- June – Marriage of his brother Ippolit to Sofya Nikonova.
- autumn – He meets Mily Balakirev in Moscow, and under his influence writes the overture-fantasia Romeo and Juliet.
- He begins a passionate friendship with the conservatory student Eduard Zak.
- February – He starts work on his third opera, The Oprichnik.
- 4 March/16 March – The Premiere of Romeo and Juliet in Moscow passes almost unnoticed by the critics.
- 16/28 March — Extracts from Undina are performed at a concert in Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. The complete opera was never staged.
- May – Undina is rejected by the directorate of the Imperial Theatres.
- August June– – He revises Romeo and Juliet, at Balakirev's instigation.
- June – He visits his sick friend Vladimir Shilovsky in Paris, then travels to Soden, and on to Mannheim for the Beethoven centennial festival.
- July – He flees to Switzerland following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War.
- August – After staying at Interlaken, he visits Munich and Vienna on his way back to Moscow.
- 16 March/28 March – An all-Tchaikovsky concert in Moscow includes the premieres of his trio Nature and Love and the String Quartet No. 1. Ivan Turgenev attends this concert, but Tchaikovsky avoids being introduced to him.
- June – He visits his sister Aleksandra at Kamenka.
- 2 December/14 December – Birth of his nephew Vladimir Davydov (Bob) to his sister Aleksandra.
- December – He visits Nice with Vladimir Shilovsky.
- 5 February/17 February – Premiere of the revised Romeo and Juliet in Saint Petersburg has more success.
- February–March – He is commissioned to write a Cantata for the Opening of the Polytechnic Exhibition in Moscow.
- 20 March/1 April – He completes work on The Oprichnik.
- 31 May/12 June – Premiere of the Cantata for the Opening of the Polytechnic Exhibition in Moscow.
- June–August – He spends the summer vacation at Kamenka, Nizy and Usovo, where he sketches his Symphony No. 2.
- September – He starts regular work as the music critic of the newspaper Russian Register.
- Marriage of his brother Nikolay to Olga Denisyeva.
- 26 January/7 February – Premiere of the Symphony No. 2 in Moscow.
- February-April — He arranges the vocal-piano score of The Oprichnik.
- March–April – He writes music for Aleksandr Ostrovsky's play The Snow Maiden.
- 11 May/23 May – Premiere of The Snow Maiden in Moscow.
- June–August – He visits Nizy and Kamenka, before travelling to Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France.
- August–October – He works on his symphonic fantasia The Tempest, suggested by Vladimir Stasov.
- 2 November/14 November – Suicide of Eduard Sack which has a profound effect on Tchaikovsky.
- 7 December/19 December – Premiere of The Tempest in Moscow.
- 10 March/22 March – Premiere of the String Quartet No. 2 in Moscow.
- April – He travels to Italy, visiting Venice, Rome, Naples and Florence.
- 12 April/24 April – Premiere of The Oprichnik at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg.
- June–August – He writes the opera Vakula the Smith while staying at Nizy and Usovo.
- November – He starts work on the Piano Concerto No. 1.
- 24 December/5 January 1875 – He plays through the Piano Concerto No. 1 for Nikolay Rubinstein, who is scathing in his verdict. Tchaikovsky refuses to change a note.
- June–August – He writes his Symphony No. 3 while staying at Usovo, Verbovka and Nizy.
- August – He starts work on this first ballet, Swan Lake.
- 13 October/25 October – Hans von Bülow gives the premiere of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in Boston, USA.
- November – He meets Camille Saint-Saëns in Moscow.
- 1 November/13 November – Russian premiere of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in Saint Petersburg by Gustav Kross, conducted by Eduard Nápravník.
- 7 November/19 November – Premiere of the Symphony No. 3 in Moscow.
- December – He travels to France with his brother Modest, and Modest's deaf-mute pupil Nikolay Konradi.
- January – He is greatly impressed by Bizet's Carmen in Paris.
- 16 January/28 January – Premiere of the Sérénade mélancolique in Moscow.
- 18 March/30 March – Premiere of the String Quartet No. 3 in Moscow.
- April – He completes work on Swan Lake.
- 24 April/6 May – Premiere of the Chorus for the Jubilee of Osip Petrov in Saint Petersburg.
- July – He travels to Vichy, France, for the cure.
- August – He attends the premiere of Wagner's Ring cycle in Bayreuth, where he also meets Franz Liszt.
- September – Due to social and family pressures, and alarmed by learning that his brother Modest is also homosexual, he announces his decision to marry.
- September – He is commissioned to write the Slavonic March in aid of victims of the war between Serbia and Turkey.
- November September– – He writes the symphonic fantasia Francesca da Rimini.
- 5 November/17 November – Premiere of the Slavonic March in Moscow.
- 24 November/6 December – Premiere of Vakula the Smith in Saint Petersburg.
- December – He meets Lev Tolstoy in Moscow.
- December – He receives his first letter from Nadezhda von Meck, and their solely epistolary friendship begins.
- December – He writes the Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello with orchestra.
- January – He strikes up a close friendship with the violinist Iosif Kotek.
- 13 February/25 February – He nervously conducts his Slavonic March at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
- 25 February/9 March – Premiere of Francesca da Rimini in Moscow.
- March–May – He makes sketches for his Symphony No. 4.
- 26 March/7 April – Antonina Milyukova writes her first letter to Tchaikovsky.
- May – He begins to write the opera Yevgeny Onegin.
- 20 May/1 June – He meets Antonina Milyukova for the first time in Moscow.
- 23 May/4 June – He proposes marriage to Antonina Milyukova.
- 6 July/18 July – He marries Antonina Milyukova at Saint George's Church in Moscow.
- 7/19–13/25 July – The couple spend their honeymoon in Saint Petersburg.
- 14 July/26 July – Tchaikovsky and his wife return to their new apartment in Moscow.
- 27 July/8 August – Tchaikovsky leaves by himself for Kamenka.
- 12 September/24 September – Tchaikovsky returns to his wife in Moscow.
- 24 September/6 October – End of his marriage to Antonina.
- October – He travels to Switzerland with his brother Anatoly, settling in Clarens.
- October – Nadezhda von Meck offers him a regular allowance, which gives him financial independence.
- 18 November/30 November – Premiere of the Variations on a Rococo Theme in Moscow by Wilhelm Fitzenhagen.
- January – He travels to San Remo, where he completes the Symphony No. 4 and Yevgeny Onegin.
- 13 January/25 January – Death of his half-sister Zinayda.
- 10 February/22 February – Premiere of the Symphony No. 4.
- March – At Clarens in Switzerland with Iosif Kotek, he writes his Violin Concerto.
- May – He returns to Russia and spends time at Kamenka, before moving on to the Brailov country estate of Nadezhda von Meck, who is absent. Here he writes the Souvenir d'un lieu cher as a memento of his stay, and the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.
- August – He starts work on the Suite No. 1.
- September – He returns to the Moscow Conservatory to resume teaching.
- November – He tenders his resignation from the Moscow Conservatory on health grounds.
- December – He travels to Italy and settles in Florence, where he starts work on The Maid of Orleans.
- 8 December/20 December – Premieres of the Sérénade mélancolique, Op. 26 and Valse-Scherzo , Op. 34, in Paris by Stanisław Barcewicz.
- March – He returns to Moscow.
- 17 March/29 March – Premiere of Yevgeny Onegin in Moscow.
- June – Premiere of the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom in Kiev.
- June–August – He spends the summer at Kamenka and Brailov, where he completes The Maid of Orleans.
- October – While staying at Kamenka, he starts work on the Piano Concerto No. 2.
- 21 October/2 November – Premiere of the Grand Sonata in Moscow by Nikolay Rubinstein.
- November – He departs for France and Italy.
- 8 December/20 December – Premiere of the Suite No. 1 in Moscow.
- December – While in Rome, he revises the Symphony No. 2.
- January-February– – In Rome, he writes the Italian Capriccio.
- 9 January/21 January – Death of his father Ilya.
- March – He returns to Russia.
- April–November – He stays mostly at Kamenka and Brailov.
- November September– – He writes the Serenade for String Orchestra and the festival overture The Year 1812.
- autumn – Tchaikovsky is deeply upset when his servant Aleksey Sofronov is conscripted into the army.
- 6 December/18 December – He returns to Moscow, and hears the premiere of the Italian Capriccio.
- January-February – He visits Saint Petersburg.
- 31 January/12 February – Premiere of the revised Symphony No. 2 in Saint Petersburg.
- 13 February/25 February – Premiere of The Maid of Orleans in Saint Petersburg.
- 14 February/26 February – He departs for Vienna, Florence, Rome and Naples.
- 11 March/23 March – While in Nice, he hears of the death of Nikolay Rubinstein in Paris.
- 13 March/25 March – He attends Nikolay Rubinstein's funeral service in Paris.
- April – He settles at Kamenka, with occasional visits to Moscow.
- June – He starts work on the opera Mazepa.
- 18 October/30 October – Premiere of the Serenade for String Orchestra.
- 31 October/12 November – Premiere of the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Madeline Schiller in New York.
- December November– – He visits Vienna, Venice, Florence and Rome.
- 22 November/4 December – Premiere of the Violin Concerto in Vienna by Adolph Brodsky.
- December – He sketches his Piano Trio in memory of Nikolay Rubinstein.
- April – His brother Anatoly marries Praskovya Konshina.
- May – He returns to Kamenka, with occasional visits to Moscow.
- 21 May/2 June – Russian Premiere of the Piano Concerto No. 2 in Moscow by Sergey Taneyev.
- 7 June/19 June – Premiere of the All-Night Vigil in Moscow.
- 8 August/20 August – Premiere of The Year 1812 at the Arts and Industry Exhibition in Moscow.
- 18 October/30 October – Premiere of the Piano Trio in Moscow.
- January – He arrives in Paris.
- 19 February/3 March – Premiere of the revised Symphony No. 1 in Moscow.
- March – He is commissioned to write the Coronation March and the cantata Moscow for the coronation of Emperor Alexander III.
- 15 May/27 May – Premiere of the coronation cantata Moscow at the Kremlin in Moscow.
- 23 May/4 June – Premiere of the Coronation March at the coronation of Alexander III in Moscow.
- June–December – He visits Moscow, Podushkino and Kamenka, where he writes the Suite No. 2.
- 31 December/12 January 1885 – His niece Anna Davydova marries Nadezhda von Meck's son Nikolay.
- 3 February/15 February – Premiere of Mazepa in Moscow.
- 4 February/16 February – Premiere of the Suite No. 2 in Moscow.
- 6 February/18 February – He departs for Paris.
- 7 March/19 March – He is summoned to Saint Petersburg for an audience with Alexander III, who confers on him the Order of Saint Vladimir.
- April–September – He visits Kamenka, Grankino and Skabeyevo, where he writes the Suite No. 3 and the Concert Fantasia for piano with orchestra.
- 19 October/31 October – Saint Petersburg Premiere of Yevgeny Onegin at the Mariinsky Theatre.
- November – He visits his dying friend Iosif Kotek in Switzerland.
- 16 December/28 December – Premiere of the Elegy for string orchestra in Moscow.
- 12 January/24 January – Premiere of the Suite No. 3 in Saint Petersburg.
- 14 February/26 February – He rents a house in the village of Maydanovo, near Klin.
- 22 February/6 March – Premiere of the Concert Fantasia in Moscow.
- February–March – He revises Vakula the Smith as a new opera with the title Cherevichki.
- April–September – At Maydanovo, he writes the symphony Manfred, suggested by Mily Balakirev.
- September – He starts work on the opera The Enchantress.
- 5 December/17 December – Premiere of the Jurisprudence March and Jurists' Song at the 150th anniversary dinner of the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg. Tchaikovsky is absent.
- 11 March/23 March – He attends the premiere of Manfred in Moscow.
- 31 March/12 April – He arrives in Tiflis to visit his brother Anatoly.
- 19 April/1 May – He hears the premiere of the revised Romeo and Juliet in Tiflis.
- 29 April/10 May – He leaves Tiflis for Paris, by way of the Mediterranean Sea.
- May–June – He stays in Paris, where he meets Gabriel Fauré, Édouard Lalo, Ambroise Thomas and Pauline Viardot-García.
- 19 June/1 July – He returns to Maydanovo.
- 19 January/31 January – He conducts the premiere of Cherevichki at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
- 19 January/31 January – His niece Tatyana Davydova dies suddenly at a masquerade ball in Saint Petersburg.
- 5 March/17 March – He conducts a Philharmonic Society concert in Saint Petersburg.
- May – He completes the opera The Enchantress.
- 21 May/2 June–28 May/9 June – He travels on a steam-boat down the River Volga from Nizhny Novgorod to Baku.
- June – He stays with his brother Anatoly in Tiflis, where he arranges and orchestrates music by Mozart to form his Suite No. 4.
- July–August – He travels to Aachen to see his friend Nikolay Kondratyev, who is critically ill.
- 20 October/1 November – He conducts the premiere of The Enchantress at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg.
- 14 November/26 November – Premiere of the Suite No. 4 in Moscow, conducted by Tchaikovsky.
- 12 December/24 December – Saint Petersburg Premiere of the Suite No. 4, conducted by Tchaikovsky.
- 24 December/5 January 1888 – His first European conducting tour begins with a concert at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Meetings with Johannes Brahms, Edvard Grieg and Ethel Smyth.
- He is granted a lifetime annuity of 3000 rubles by Alexander III.
- 8 January/20 January – He conducts at the Conventgarten in Hamburg.
- 16 January/28 January – He meets Gustav Mahler.
- 23 January/4 February – He meets Désirée Artôt again in Berlin.
- 27 January/8 February – He conducts a Philharmonic Society concert in Berlin.
- 7/19–9/21 February – He conducts two concerts in Prague, and meets Antonín Dvořák.
- Febuary–March – He conducts three concerts in Paris, and meets Charles Gounod, Léo Delibes, Pauline Viardot-García, and other French musicians.
- 8 March/20 March – He conducts a concert at the Saint James's Hall in London.
- March – He returns to Russia and visits brothers Ippolit and Anatoly in Taganrog and Tiflis.
- 24 April/6 May – He settles in a new house at Frolovskoye, near Klin.
- May–October – He writes the Symphony No. 5 and the overture-fantasia Hamlet.
- October – He is commissioned by Ivan Vsevolozhsky to write the ballet The Sleeping Beauty.
- 5 November/17 November – Premiere of the Symphony No. 5 in Saint Petersburg, conducted by Tchaikovsky.
- 12 November/24 November – Premiere of the overture-fantasia Hamlet in Saint Petersburg, conducted by Tchaikovsky.
- November–December – He visits Prague to conduct the Symphony No. 5and Yevgeny Onegin.
- 10 December/22 December – Moscow Premiere of the Symphony No. 5, conducted by Tchaikovsky.
- 10 December/22 December – He meets Anton Chekhov in Saint Petersburg.
- January–March – His second European concert tour, with concerts in Cologne (31 January/12 February), Frankfurt am Main (3/15 February), Dresden (8/20 February), Berlin (14/26 February), Geneva (25 February/9 March), Hamburg (3/15 March) and in London (30 March/11 April). Before travelling on to London he stays in Paris (8/20 March-28 March/9 April), where he does not conduct any concerts but gets to meet Jules Massenet and other French musicians.
- April–May – He travels to Tiflis via the Mediterranean Sea to visit his brother Anatoly.
- 19 May/31 May – He returns home to Frolovskoye.
- August – He completes work on The Sleeping Beauty.
- 18 September/30 September – He conducts a new production of Yevgeny Onegin at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
- October–November – He conducts his own music, and works by Mozart, Glinka, Taneyev and Anton Rubinstein.
- 25 November/7 December – Premiere of the Pezzo capriccioso in Moscow with Anatoly Brandukov, conducted by Tchaikovsky.
- 3 January/15 January – Premiere of The Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg.
- January–March – He stays in Florence, where he sketches The Queen of Spades.
- April–September – He returns to Russia, staying mainly at Frolovskoye, with occasional visits to Moscow, Lobynskoye, Grankino, Kamenka, Kiev and Kharkov.
- June–July – He writes the string sextet Souvenir de Florence.
- 22 September/4 October – Nadezhda von Meck writes her last letter to Tchaikovsky.
- September–October – He sketches the symphonic ballad The Voyevoda.
- September–October – He visits Anatoly in Tiflis.
- 20 October/1 November – He conducts his own works at an RMS concert in Tiflis.
- 28 November/10 December – Premiere of Souvenir de Florence in Saint Petersburg.
- 7 December/19 December – Premiere of The Queen of Spades in Saint Petersburg.
- January – At the request of his actor friend Lucien Guitry, he writes incidental music for Hamlet.
- February – He starts work on the ballet The Nutcracker.
- 9 February/21 February – Premiere of the incidental music to Hamlet in Moscow.
- 24 March/5 April – He conducts a concert of his own works in Paris.
- 29 March/10 April – Death of his sister Aleksandra.
- 5/17–14/26 April – He crosses the Atlantic Ocean on the steamship La Bretagne.
- 14 April/26 April – He arrives in New York at the start of his American tour, which also takes him to Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia.
- 23 April/5 May – He conducts his Coronation March at the opening concert of Andrew Carnegie's new Music Hall in New York.
- 9 May/21 May – He leaves America bound for Hamburg on the Prince Bismarck.
- 28 May/28 May – He returns to his former home at Maydanovo.
- July–December – He works on the opera Iolanta.
- 4 November/16 November – Moscow Premiere of The Queen of Spades.
- 6 November/18 November – He conducts the premiere of the symphonic ballad The Voyevoda, and then attempts to destroy the score.
- 21 December/2 January 1892 – He conducts an all-Tchaikovsky concert in Kiev.
- 2 January/14 January – He conducts an all-Tchaikovsky concert in Warsaw.
- 7 January/19 January – He is impressed by a performance of Yevgeny Onegin in Hamburg conducted by Gustav Mahler.
- February–March – He completes work on the ballet The Nutcracker, from which he compiles a suite.
- 7 March/19 March – Premiere of the suite from The Nutcracker in Saint Petersburg conducted by Tchaikovsky.
- 29 April/10 May – He moves from Maydanovo to his last home at Klin.
- May – He begins sketches for a Symphony in E-flat major.
- June – He visits Vichy with his nephew Vladimir Davydov.
- September–October – He travels to Vienna, Itter and Prague.
- November – He abandons sketches for the Symphony in E-flat major.
- 24 November/6 December – Premiere of the revised sextet Souvenir de Florence in Saint Petersburg.
- 6 December/18 December – Premieres of Iolanta and The Nutcracker at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg.
- 20 December/1 January 1893 – He visits Fanny Dürbach in Montbeliard, Switzerland.
- 2 January/14 January – He conducts an all-Tchaikovsky concert in Brussels.
- 12 January/24 January – He arrives in Odessa to conduct a series of concerts of his own works, and to have his portrait painted by Nikolay Kuznetsov.
- 25 January/6 February – He leaves Odessa for Kamenka and Kharkov.
- 3 February/15 February – He returns to Klin, where he starts to sketch the Symphony No. 6.
- 11 March/23 March – He arrives in Kharkov to conduct concerts of his own works.
- 18 March/30 March – He returns to Klin and resumes work on the Symphony No. 6.
- 13 May/25 May – He departs for England via Germany.
- 20 May/1 June – He conducts his Symphony No. 4 at a Royal Philharmonic Society concert in London.
- 31 May/12 June – He conducts Francesca da Rimini at a concert in Cambridge.
- 1 June/13 June – He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Music at Cambridge University, together with Boito, Saint-Saëns, Bruch, and Grieg (who is too ill to attend the ceremony).
- 18 July/30 July – He returns home to Klin, where he begins converting the abandoned Symphony in E-flat major into the Piano Concerto No. 3.
- August – He travels to Hamburg for a production of Iolanta.
- 9 October/21 October – Premiere of the vocal quartet Night in Moscow, in the presence of the composer.
- 10 October/22 October – He arrives in Saint Petersburg to stay at his brother Modest's apartment at 13 Malaya Morskaya Street.
- 16 October/28 October – He conducts the premiere of the Symphony No. 6 in Saint Petersburg.
- 20 October/1 November – He dines out at Leiner's restaurant with friends.
- 21 October/2 November – He complains of stomach pains, and a doctor is called, who diagnoses cholera.
- 22 October/3 November – Treatment begins, and he feels better.
- 22 October/3 November–23 October/4 November – His condition gradually deteriorates.
- 25 October/6 November – Tchaikovsky dies around 3 am local time (around 00.30 GMT) from complications arising from the cholera infection (uræmia and œdema of lungs).
- 26 October/7 November–27 October/8 November – Requiem services and tributes are held throughout Russia.
- 28 October/9 November – His funeral takes place in the Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. He is buried in Tikhvinsky Cemetery at the Aleksandr Nevsky Monastery.