The Nutcracker Factor

Few would deny that the popularity of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s music in the US is predicated largely on the approximately 18,763,594 stagings of The Nutcracker which occur around the country every December. But even leaving Drosselmayer’s brood aside, the Russian master can be counted as possibly the most listened to composer in America, even if many Americans probably couldn’t tell you who he was. So what is it about Tchaikovsky that attracts the American ear?