The overture debuted in Moscow on August 20, 1882, conducted by Ippolit Al'tani under a tent near the then-unfinished Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which also memorialized the 1812 defense of Russia. The overture was conducted by Tchaikovsky himself in 1891 at the dedication of Carnegie Hall, in what became the first time a major European composer visited the United States. The overture is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes, and brass fanfare finale. It has also become a common accompaniment to fireworks displays at outdoor concerts throughout the world. The 1812 Overture went on to become one of Tchaikovsky's most popular works, along with his ballet scores to The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake.

Date of composition 1880
Premiered 1882, August 20th in Russia, Moscow
Type Overture
Tonality E-flat Major
Catalogue Op. 49
Approx. duration 15 minutes
Instruments Orchestra
Autotranslations beta Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski: 1812 Overture en mi bémol majeur, Op. 49
Pëtr Il'ič Čajkovskij: 1812 Overture in mi bemolle maggiore, Op. 49
Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski: 1812 Overture Es-dur, Op. 49