Dear Friends,

Thank you for visiting. I warmly welcome you to learn more about my activities and to get in touch.

Concert with Eureka Ensemble. May 12, 2018

I am the music director of the Kendall Square Orchestra, which brings together musicians from science, technology, and innovation companies; the group has 60 musicians representing over 40 companies and institutions from Google and Pfizer to Harvard and New England Conservatory. I am also the conductor and co–founder of Eureka Ensemble, a network of over 80 professional classical musicians that nurtures social change through music, and serve as the interim director of orchestras at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

I made my professional conducting debut with the Albanian National Orchestra in 2014 and my opera conducting debut in 2018 with the Vienna Summer Music Festival Opera.

Off the podium, I coach chamber music at Harvard University as a non-resident tutor with Pforzheimer House, advise music organizations in Boston on artistic programming, social entrepreneurship, and audience development, and work closely with executives and leaders from around the world using conducting and the orchestra as models of leadership, management, and teamwork.

This past year, I co-founded The Women's Chorus (TWC) together with entrepreneur and life-long singer David McCue to connect women experiencing homelessness and severe poverty through the healing power of music. The program operates out of the Women’s Lunch Place, a shelter that serves hundreds of women every day. In lieu of rehearsals, TWC holds weekly ‘meetups’ and offers participants free private lessons with professional singers. Every concert raises funds for a cause that the women care about in addition to spreading awareness on homelessness issues.

In its first season TWC collaborated with musicians from Handel and Haydn Society, New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, and local women’s choirs, and raised thousands of dollars for homeless shelters in the Boston area. This year, I am happy to share that TWC will be featured at the TEDxYouth@Beaconstreet Conference and the 2020 annual Conference for the International Association of Music and Medicine.

Concert with Kendall Square Orchestra featuring Boston Symphony Musicians. Symphony Hall, May 20, 2019

My vision is simple: Musicians have a profound capacity to bring people together. When you think of an orchestra,  in other words, a platform in which different groups of people work together in pursuit of one common goal (in our case, violins, horns, trumpets, etc.), you discover a powerful model for teamwork and community-building. The love, patience, discipline, and care that a musician gives to each note they play and to their colleagues playing with them in any given musical moment translates to how we as human beings can treat ourselves and each other. 

The 2018-2019 season brought with it memorable moments: I made my Symphony Hall conducting debut with the Kendall Square Orchestra featuring Boston Symphony Musicians, including Keith Lockhart on piano, and local scientific leaders, in a concert titled “Symphony for Science”, with the goal of raising funds and awareness on the devastating disease FTD (Fronto-Temporal Dementia).

I also conducted a number of concerts with Eureka Ensemble, Rivers Symphony Orchestra, the Narragansett Bay Symphony, and gave a TEDx talk titled “a musical gesture social change” about my work.

UMass Symphony playing at a “Funeral March for the Earth” Protest organized by Extinction Rebellion

As I enter the 2019–20 Season, I begin what is arguably my busiest year ever, with over 15 performances planned over the next 8 months. I have been especially focused on my new stint as the interim director of orchestras at UMass Amherst teaching classes, three graduate conducting students, conducting two orchestras, and holding masterclasses on musical entrepreneurship.

On Friday, September 27th, 2019, I organized a group of my orchestra students to participate in a “funeral march for the earth” climate change protest organized by Extinction Rebellion. The music made everyone at the event really come together for this cause and the collective feeling from that day is simply indescribable.

I’m quite excited for the months ahead!

With gratitude and love,

Kristo Kondakçi

September 29th, 2019