Aleksandra Davydova

Tchaikovsky Research
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Aleksandra Davydova (1842-1891)

Younger sister of the composer (b. 28 December 1841/9 January 1842 in Votkinsk; d. 28 March/9 April 1891 in Kamenka), born Aleksandra Ilinichna Chaykovskaya (Апександра Ильинична Чайковская); known after her marriage as Aleksandra Ilinichna Davydova (Апександра Ильинична Давыдова). She was known affectionately to the composer as "Sasha" (Шаша).

Aleksandra was the fourth child of Ilya Tchaikovsky (1795–1880) and his wife Aleksandra (b. Assier, 1812–1854).

On 6/18 November 1860 she married Lev Davydov (1837–1896), and they had seven children: Tatyana (1861–1887); Vera (1863–1888); Anna (1864–1942); Natalya (1868–1956); Dmitry (1870–1929); Vladimir (1871–1906); and Yury (1876–1965).

Tchaikovsky spent a great deal of time with the Davydov family on their estates at Kamenka and Verbovka, where many of his works were composed.

Aleksandra Davydova died on 28 March/9 April 1891 at Kamenka, following a long period of ill health. She was buried next to her daughter Tatyana in the cemetery at the Aleksandr Nevsky Monastery in Saint Petersburg, although neither grave site has survived.


In 1870, Tchaikovsky dedicated his Valse-Scherzo for piano, Op. 7, "to Aleksandra Ilinichna Davydova".

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

78 letters from Tchaikovsky to his sister Aleksandra have survived, dating from 1861 to 1879, of which those highlighted in bold have been translated into English on this website:

54 letters from Aleksandra Davydova to the composer, dating from 1866 to 1889, are preserved in the Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve at Klin (a4, Nos. 791, 836–887, and 3582) [1].


Notes and References

  1. Including one letter from 1866 written jointly by Aleksandra and her husband Lev, and another from 1891 written by Aleksandra and Natalya Plesskaya.