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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Browse 51-75 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Mahler: Symphony no 6 / Kondrashin, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94217 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg
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  • 52.
    Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 3 / Kondrashin, Moscow Philharmonic
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1000808 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4 / Kondrashin, Pisarenko, Moscow Philharmonic
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1000809 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Galina Pisarenko
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 9 / Kondrashin, Moscow & Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestras
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1000814 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 55.
    The Martha Argerich Collection 4  [6-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566002 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Alan Ridout  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Mischa Maisky,  Isabelle van Keulen,  Nelson Freire  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Kiril Kondrashin,  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Byron Janis
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802058 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann,  Manuel de Falla,  David Guion
    Performer:  Byron Janis
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
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  • 57.
    Bach, Mozart, Brahms: Violin Concertos / David Oistrakh
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5012 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Yehudi Menuhin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Capriccio Italien, 1812 Overture / Oistrakh, Kondrashin, Reiner
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 24704 Release Date: 02/17/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  USSR Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 59.
    The 20th Century Piano Concerto Vol 1 - Prokofiev, Falla, Gershwin, Bartok, Stravinsky, Ravel
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462859 Release Date: 01/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Manuel de Falla,  George Gershwin,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Byron Janis,  Clara Haskil,  Eugene List,  Stephen Kovacevich  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Igor Markevitch,  Howard Hanson,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    Brahms: Violin Concerto; Dvorak: Violin Concerto
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1349 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 61.
    Boris Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 2, Piano Works / Kondrashin, Tchaikovsky
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 10038 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Boris Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Boris Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 62.
    The Art of Violin
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4639 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ernest Chausson,  Franz Schubert (Dresden),  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Nathan Milstein,  Christian Ferras,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Aram Khachaturian
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  • 63.
    50 Classical Music Favorites
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001388102 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Luigi Boccherini,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Italo Colandrea,  Antonio Perez,  Michael Copley  ... 
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen,  Sir Colin Davis,  Kurt Masur,  Silvio Varviso  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 64.
    Best Violin 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58521 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Vittorio Monti,  Fritz Kreisler,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  John Lenehan,  Leon Pommers,  Nathan Milstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin,  Alceo Galliera,  Iain Sutherland,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante,  Virtuosi,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Shostakovich: Symphony No 15, Violin Concerto No 2 / Oistrakh
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1062 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Staatskapelle Dresden [Vinyl]
    Label: Profil   Catalog: PH08064 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Anton Bruckner,  Richard Strauss,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Bernard Haitink,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saxony State Opera Chorus Dresden,  Dresden Singakademie,  Dresden Symphony Chorus  ... 
    LP: $19.99
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  • 67.
    Chopin Compact Edition - Concerto No 1, Scherzo, Ballade No 2 / Zimerman
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 431580 Release Date: 05/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 68.
    The Essential Richter - The Virtuoso
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 454168 Release Date: 04/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Anthology Of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 8005 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Carl Nielsen,  Luigi Dallapiccola,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Dorow,  George Pieterson,  Werner Herbers,  Theo Olof  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Lucas Vis,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 70.
    The Kondrashin Recordings - Shostakovich, Nielsen
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438283 Release Date: 02/18/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 71.
    The Kondrashin Recordings - Stravinsky, Borodin
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438280 Release Date: 02/18/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No 2 / Oistrakh
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4473 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert,  Jean Sibelius,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Frida Bauer
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 73.
    Van Cliburn Recital - Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1;  Beethoven, Liszt / Kondrashin, Et Al
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1000250 Release Date: 10/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Dvorak: Symphony No 9, Czech Suite / Kondrashin, Dorati
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448245 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Van Cliburn In Moscow Vol 3 - Rachmaninov
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4454 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Vasily Solov'yov-Sedoy
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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