Under von Meck's patronage, Tchaikovsky became increasingly famous as a composer. Nevertheless, he continued to be depressed and withdrawn in his personal life. In the year 1893, when he was 53 years old, Tchaikovsky died suddenly from a case of cholera that he got from drinking some contaminated water. Some music historians believe his death was from an accident; however, David Brown, a scholar who has extensively studied Tchaikovsky's life, insists that the melancholy composer committed suicide (Brown 626).
Despite the problems in his personal life, Tchaikovsky's creative output was enormous. He wrote six symphonies, including his Sixth Symphony ("Pathetique"), which is among the most celebrated such works today. He also wrote 23 other works for the orchestra, including several overtures such as Romeo and Juliet and the Festival Overture ("1812"). He wrote 11 operas, of which The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin are the most popular. He composed three famous ballets: The Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. He wrote 10 concertos for either piano, violin or cello. He also wrote six works for chamber orchestra, one piano duet, and 18 opuses for solo piano. In addition, he composed five major choral works, 13 songs cycles (each of which contains between six and 16 songs), and a