Kiril Kondrashin

Biography

Born: March 6, 1914; Moscow, Russia   Died: March 7, 1981; Amsterdam, The Netherlands  
Kiril Petrovich Kondrashin was internationally the best-known conductor of the Soviet Union and also the most prominent one to emigrate from that country. He was known for vigorous and solid performances of a wide repertory, particularly the Russian masters.

He was brought up with music, as his family included several orchestral musicians. He took piano lessons, and the family got him lessons in musical theory at the Musical Teknikum with
Read more Nikolai Zhilyayev, who had a strong influence on him. While still a student, he made his conducting debut in 1931 at the Children's Theater. He entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1934, where he studied conducting with Boris Khaikin. He graduated in 1936, but by then had obtained a job as assistant conductor at the Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater in 1934, debuting with the operetta Les cloches de Corneville by Planquette.

In 1936 he was conductor at the Maly Opera Theater in Leningrad, retaining that post until 1943. Along with other artists who were deemed important to the war effort, he was evacuated from besieged Leningrad after the German invasion of Russia. In 1943, he became a member of the conducting staff of the Moscow Bolshoi Theater, which was also in a wartime home outside the capital. He remained with the Bolshoi until 1956, making marked improvement in his interpretation that he attributed to working with the experienced conductors of the Bolshoi and to his being entrusted with several important new productions.

Meanwhile, a demand was building for him as a concert conductor. He received Stalin Prizes in 1948 and 1949. When he left the Bolshoi, it was with the intention of centering his career on the podium rather than in the pit. His fame grew greatly in 1958, when he led the orchestra in the prizewinning appearances of American pianist Van Cliburn at the Tchaikovsky International Competition. Cliburn charmed both his home country and his Russian hosts, and the resulting LP record of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto, conducted by Kondrashin, was a long-time best seller. This led to his American and British debuts, making Kondrashin the first Soviet conductor to appear in the U.S.

In 1960 he was named artistic director of the Moscow Philharmonic, and as such participated in another piano concerto blockbuster recording with a U.S. piano star, the great Prokofiev Third Concerto recording for Mercury with Byron Janis, still considered by many the greatest interpretation of that brilliant work on disc. Kondrashin's performances were bright and dramatic, tending to programmatic interpretations that commentators saw as the legacy of his theater career. He was the U.S.S.R.'s finest interpreter of Mahler, leading all the symphonies with unusual restraint and with the expressive and dramatic qualities of the music seemingly enhanced by understatement.

He left the Moscow Philharmonic in 1975, turning to guest conducting. As a result of high demand outside the U.S.S.R., he decided to emigrate in 1978. He was named permanent conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 1979, and immediately began making a notable series of recordings with them, but died in that city only two years later. Read less
Khachaturian & Rachmaninov: Orchestral Works / Kondrashin
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Urania  
Catalog: 303   Number of Discs: 2
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 & The Bells / Cliburn, Kondrashin, Moscow Philharmonic
Release Date: 04/01/2016   Label: Praga  
Catalog: 350123   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 122 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Khachaturian & Rachmaninov: Orchestral Works / Kondrashin
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 303 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  Alexei Bolshakov,  Mikhail Dovenman,  Yelisaveta Shumskaya,  Yakov Flier
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Yurlov Russian Choir,  RCA Victor Orchestra
    On sale! $39.99
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  • 2.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 & The Bells / Cliburn, Kondrashin, Moscow Philharmonic
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350123 Release Date: 04/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Tchaikovsky, Berlioz & Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet / Kondrashin, Monteux, Mravinsky
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350116 Release Date: 02/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Pierre Monteux
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  • 4.
    Great Chopin Pianists
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002437202 Release Date: 01/15/2016   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Lev Oborin,  Alexandre Uninsky,  Yakov Zak,  Bella Davidovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Václáv Smetácek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $57.49
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  • 5.
    Sviatoslav Richter: 100th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002270 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Nina Dorliac,  Oleg Kagan,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Yuri Nikolaevsky,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre String Quartet,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Conservatory Chamber Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $599.99
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  • 6.
    Richter Rarities With Orchestra
    Label: Parnassus Records   Catalog: 96056 Release Date: 10/16/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Riccardo Muti,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  George Georgeseu
    CD: $12.99
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  • 7.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002364402 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Guy Touvron,  Gidon Kremer,  Alexandre Gurning  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Jörg Faerber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $182.49
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  • 8.
    From The History Of The Tchaikovsky Competition Phonodocuments
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002349 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Naum Shtarkman,  Stefan Ruha,  Victoria Stefanescu,  Lev Vlasenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Boris Khaikin,  Neeme Järvi,  Fuat Mansurov  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 9.
    Weinberg: Cello, Violin, Flute Concertos
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002315 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mieczyslaw Weinberg
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Leonid Kogan,  Alexandre Korneev
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Rudolf Barshai
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Brahms, Dvorák: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Kondrashin
    Label: Vanguard Classics   Catalog: 1024 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 11.
    Glazunov, Kabalevsky: Concertos;  Gliere / Oistrakh, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard Classics   Catalog: 1025 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Reinhold Gliere,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 12.
    Schumann, Kabalevsky, Falla, Granados, Haydn /Shafran, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard Classics   Catalog: 1026 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Daniil Shafran,  Nina Musinian
    Conductor:  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 13.
    Weinberg: Symphonies Nos. 5, 10 / Barshai, Kondrashin
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002281 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mieczyslaw Weinberg
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 14.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 3
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 002275902 Release Date: 03/23/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Lehár,  Emil Waldteufel,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Rafael Druian,  Georges Miquelle,  Eugene List,  Alfred Mouledous  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Frederick Fennell,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 15.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Concertos
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 6005 Release Date: 01/20/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Byron Janis,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Abbey Simon  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Pavel Kogan,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 16.
    Kyung Wha Chung - Complete Decca Recordings [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002217700 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Sibelius,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Phillip Moll,  Radu Lupu,  Myung-Wha Chung  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  André Previn,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 17.
    Sviatoslav Richter - Complete Decca, Philips & DG Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002236002 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mikhail Kopelman,  Valentin Berlinsky,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Kurt Sanderling,  Witold Rowicki,  János Ferencsik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moragues Woodwind Quintet members,  Borodin String Quartet,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $167.98
    CD: $148.99
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  • 18.
    Emil Gilels Plays Bach, Vol. 2
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002224 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Yakov Zak,  Nikolai Kharkovsky,  Elizaveta Gillels
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Rachmaninov: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002145102 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn,  Peter Jablonski,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Stanislaw Wislocki  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Goldner String Quartet,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 20.
    Kirill Kondrashin: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002131202 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Herman Krebbers
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 21.
    Tchaikovsky, Glazunov: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Kondrashin, USSR Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2261 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 22.
    Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13; Prokofiev: October / Kondrashin, Moscow Philharmonic
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350089 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Vitaly Gromadsky
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Yurlov Russian Choir
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  • 23.
    I Don't Like Classical Music, But I Really Like This!
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74698 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Carl Orff,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Woodhouse,  Paul Meyer,  Kolja Blacher,  Eric Le Sage  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Eduardo Mata,  Gustav Kuhn,  Mark Stephenson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 24.
    Franz Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Piano Sonata In B Minor
    Label: Doron Music   Catalog: 4025 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 25.
    Rca Living Stereo Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $125.98
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