This musician, the
most prolific composer of late-nineteenth-century program music, wrote in every
genre of nineteenth-century music, but excelled in music requiring a large
orchestra (the program symphony, symphonic poem, and ballet). The musical strengths of his compositions lie in
their sweeping melodies, colorful instrumentation, dramatic contrasts, and
grand gestures. Some of his most famous compositions are Romeo
and Juliet, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and the Nutcracker.