It may be the most popular ballet score ever written, but it almost didn’t happen.
“If ever Tchaikovsky wrote an ill-starred work,” writes biographer Roland John Wiley, “it was The Nutcracker. Had he known what miseries he would endure while writing it, he surely would have refused.”
But he didn’t—and from adversity created a beloved masterpiece.
In this hour, the story behind this perennial holiday classic.