Unlike the majority of his Russian predecessors, Tchaikovsky’s fame meant he received regular commissions for new work – he was the first ‘professional’ Russian composer. A new generation followed in his footsteps including Stravinsky and Prokofiev; for them, commissions were the norm.
Many of the works for which Tchaikovsky was commissioned were required to celebrate great state and political events. The Danish Overture was written to mark the marriage of the future Tsar Alexander III to the Danish Princess Dagmar. He was later commissioned to to produce the rarely heard Moscow Cantata and Coronation March as part of the celebrations to mark Alexander’s coronation.