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
Browse 51-75 of 123 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1; Rachmaninov, Kabalevsky / Cliburn, Kondrashin, Moscow PO
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1440 Release Date: 01/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    Tchaikovsky: Symhony No 6, Romeo And Juliet Overture / Kondrashin, Et Al
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1000956 Release Date: 10/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius: Violin Concertos / Chung
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 452325 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    Van Cliburn In Moscow Vol 1
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4452 Release Date: 07/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Van Cliburn In Moscow Vol 2 - Grieg, Brahms
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4453 Release Date: 07/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Original Masters - David Oistrakh - Concertos And Encores
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4777479 Release Date: 07/10/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch,  Alexander Glazunov,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  David Oistrakh,  Gabril Yudin,  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  USSR State Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 62.
    The Kondrashin Recordings - Prokofiev, Shostakovich
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438284 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Artist Profile - Leonid Kogan
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67732 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Edouard Lalo,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Leonid Kogan
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 64.
    The Planets Vol 2 - Other Worlds - Musical Journey Continues
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56151 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Atterberg,  Lars-Erik Larsson,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Robinson
    Conductor:  Stig Westerberg,  Ulf Björlin,  André Previn,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    The Kondrashin Recordings - Beethoven: Symphony No. 3
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438277 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 66.
    The Kondrashin Recordings - Brahms, Mendelssohn: Symphonies
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438278 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 67.
    The Kondrashin Recordings - Ravel, Gershwin
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438282 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  George Gershwin
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Mendelssohn, Dvorak / Oistrahk, Kondrashin, Et Al
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 333 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No 15;  Boris Tchaikovsky
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 6065 Release Date: 08/07/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Boris Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 70.
    The Age Of Living Stereo - A Tribute To John Pfeiffer
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 68524 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Martial Singher,  David Poleri,  Artur Rubinstein,  Carl Poole  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra members,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
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  • 71.
    The Essential Van Cliburn
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 709585 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Symphony of the Air,  RCA Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    The Russian Piano Tradition - Emil Gilels, Yakov Zak
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 5664 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Yakov Zak,  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 73.
    The Russian Piano Tradition - Richter, Zak, Oborin
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 6005 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Yakov Zak,  Lev Oborin,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Konstantin Ivanov,  Alexander Gauk,  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  USSR Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Anthology Of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Vol 4 1970-80
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 6004 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  André Caplet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Anton Bruckner,  Maarten Bon  ... 
    Performer:  Jean Decroos,  Maurice André,  Vera Badings,  Werner Herbers  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Fournet,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Marinus Choir,  NCRV Vocal Ensemble  ... 
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  • 75.
    Saint-saëns, Schumann: Cello Concertos / Rostropovich
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000860702 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Alexander Glazunov,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Alexander Dedyukhin,  Naum Walter,  Vladimir Yampolsky
    Conductor:  Samuel Samosud,  Grigori Stolyarov,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  All-Union Radio Orchestra,  Moscow Youth Orchestra
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