Personal turmoil is often a catalyst for musical expression. The Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a emotionally crippled individual, but the music he created was no doubt inspired by his personal strife. His romantic and classical operas like Swan Lake and The Nutcracker are internationally known, seminal works of music. If he was not plagued with a fervent personal life, it's likely these works would not be as great. Tchaikovsky died at the age of 53 due to cholera, but some biographers attribute his death to suicide.