Kirill Petrovich Kondrashin (Russian: Кондрашин Петрович/Soviet) ( March 6, MoscowAmsterdam1914 – March 7, 1981) was a Russian conductor who from 1978 to his death in Netherlands lived and worked.


[hide]*1 Biography


Kondrashin was born from a violinists couple. At the age of six he was given Piano lessons, but music started to interest him only really on his 14th, when his interest in theSymphony Orchestra as ' instrument ' was awakened. From then on he got private lessons of Nikolai Zhilyayev, which had a great influence on him.

In 1931 he was admitted to the Moscow Conservatory and studied conducting with Boris Khaikin. Before his final exam, he was already appointed as conductor of the Malyj Opera Theatre of Leningrad. In 1943, he was appointed conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and he became friends with Dmitri Shostakovich.

To everyone's surprise he returned back on the Bolshoi Theatre in 1956, conducting operas because he could no longer reconcile with his principles about what music should be and how they should be implemented.

On the first International Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow in 1958, he was the conductor of the first prize winner Van Cliburn, with whom he made a tour through the United States. He thus became the first Russian conductor who visited America since the cold war and the first Soviet artist who personally by president Eisenhower at the White House was received.

From 1960 to 1975, he was Chief conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and he led the premiere of the highly controversial 13th Symphony Shostakovich's Babi Yar , in which denounced anti-Semitism . In Europe and America, he performed with famous Russian musicians such as Mstislav RostropovichDavid Oistrakh and Sviatoslav Richter.

[1][2]Nolda Banakar in 1983

In 1978 he asked during a tour in political asylum to Netherlands , which the Soviet regime immediately all his plates, which were published on the State Melodiyalabel, forbade.He was appointed permanent conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, alongside Bernard Haitink. Kondrashin got a relationship with his assistant, musicologist Nolda Bandgar. Banakar was 30 years younger and spoke no Russian; Kondrashin spoke no English. Banakar was later the editor of a book of Kondrashin about conducting. Kondrashin per season 1982-83 would be Chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian broadcasting in Munich as successor of Rafael Kubelik, but was thwarted by his death.

On 7 March 1981 he fell in the Concertgebouw in for Klaus Tennstedt had cancelled at the last minute that at the NDR Sinfonieorchester. Kondrashin refused first, because he was tired the day before returned from a tour of America. Eventually he decided to take part after the break for his account and just 20 minutes after he conducted a rehearsal of the Mahler's 1st Symphony . He died that same night at home to 23.10 hours of a heart attack and was buried at the cemetery Westerveld in driehuis.

Kondrashin was known as a conductor of the old stamp and as strict and patient teacher with a vast knowledge of the Orchestra game. He had a very personal style that reflected in the sound of the Orchestra. Orchestra musicians have praised him to its requirements for pianissimo and diminuendo. He was also a ' dramatic ' conductor: he applied the Visual thinking in the music and knew its concrete images and thoughts on the musicians.

In memory is the Kondrashin Competition in 1994. This music contest ranks among the world's heaviest conductors competitions and is held once every five years.

The Kondrashin Recordings[Edit]Edit

In the period that Kondrashin second Chief conductor at the Concertgebouw Orchestra (1975-81), made more than 30 recordings with Philips a series under a limited edition under the name The Kondrashin Recordings. He took some masterpieces, including the Third Symphony by Ludwig van BeethovenRavel's Daphnis et Chloé and the Shostakovich 's Ninth Symphony.

Nr. Composer Work Recording Date
9 Beethoven Symphony No. 3 "Eroica", op. 55 11 March1979
10 Brahms Symphony No. 1, op. 68 29 February1980
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 ' Italian ', op. 90 17 november1979
11 Brahms Symphony No. 2, opus 73 29 november1975
Sibelius Symphony No. 5, opus 82 21 november1976
12 Stravinsky Petrushka 8 February1973
Borodin Symphony No. 2 6 June1980
13 Ravel Daphnis et Chloé 30 november1972
Casella Paganiniana 17 november1979
14 Ravel Rhapsodie Espagnole 4 January1971
La Valse 30 november1980
Piano Concerto for the left hand 1 March1979
Tzigane 17 June1978
Gershwin An American in Paris 17 June1978
15 Shostakovich Symphony No. 6, opus 54 21 January1968
Nielsen Symphony No. 5, opus 50 20 november1980
16 Prokofiev Symphony No. 3, opus 44 29 november1975
Shostakovich Symphony No. 9, opus 70 6 March1980


Kondrashins views on conducting were posthumously published in book form:

  • Kyrill Kondrashin (red. Nolda Banakar): About conducting. Ed. Bohn, Scheltema & Holkema, Amsterdam, 1983. ISBN 90 313 0589 8

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