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
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Melodiya  
Catalog: MELLP0011   Number of Discs: 1
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Kirill Kondrashin: 3 Classic Albums
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002131202   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 1-25 of 121 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $109.98
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  • 2.
    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
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  • 3.
    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
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    I Don't Like Classical Music, But I Kinda 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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    Emil Gilels In Ensembles
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2210 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Yakov Zak,  Elizaveta Gillels,  Yakov Shapiro  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 8.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 9.
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELLP0011 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    100 Hits: Classical Greats
    Label: 100 Hits   Catalog: 1017490 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Myra Hess,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Myra Hess  ... 
    Conductor:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Members of the Vienna Octet (Members)
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  • 11.
    Shostakovich: The Great Symphonies
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 6004 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai,  Maxim Shostakovich,  Konstantin Ivanov,  Yevgeny Mravinsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  West German Radio Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    BBC Legends - Great Recordings from the Archive
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5113 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Beryl Hatt,  Agnes Giebel,  Joyce Barker,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpington Junior Singers,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 13.
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1938 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Shafran,  Anton Ginsburg,  Felix Gotlib,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Arvid Yansons,  Neeme Järvi,  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 14.
    Rostropovich Plays Shostakovich
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4101 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Alexander Gauk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 15.
    David Oistrakh [5-CD Set]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001931 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Viotti,  César Franck,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Taneyev  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Nicolai Malko,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Alexander Gauk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $72.99
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  • 16.
    Valentina Levko - Star Of The Bolshoi
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9406 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell,  Alessandro Stradella,  Andrea Falconieri  ... 
    Performer:  Valentina Levko,  Mark Lubotsky,  Grigory Zinger,  Liya Mogilevskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Adolf Bruk,  Juozas Domarkas,  Alexander Lazarev,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 17.
    Label: Audiophile Classics   Catalog: 7706134 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Edward MacDowell,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl,  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 18.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 19.
    Brahms, Khachaturian: Violin Concertos / Kondrashin, Monteux, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2394 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  Leonid Kogan
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Pierre Monteux
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  • 20.
    Beethoven, Godard, Chausson, Saint-Saens, Ravel / Oistrakh
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002032 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Godard,  Ernest Chausson,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 21.
    Sviatoslav Richter Collection
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002064 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Anatoly Vedernikov
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Kurt Sanderling,  Moscow Radio Symphony Orc  ... 
    CD: $72.99
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  • 22.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 23.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3; Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Argerich, Chailly, Kondrashin
    Label: K2 Hd   Catalog: 651 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Kiril Kondrashin
    On sale! $46.99
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  • 24.
    Shostakovich Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9245 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Benjamin Fleischmann
    Performer:  Sergei Aleksashkin,  Vladimir Vaneev,  Alla Simoni,  Cristina Ortiz  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai,  Paavo Berglund,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wdr Sinfonieorchester,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester Rundfunkchor,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester Choral Academy Moscow  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Rococo Variations
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002013 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
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