Looking Back: Reconstructing Mahler's First

{Blog} 2011 marked the centennial of Mahler's death, and in July that year Kristo was hard-at-work reconstructing the original version of Mahler's First Symphony. That fall, New England Conservatory was planning to commemorate his centennial by means of a semester-long, school-wide festival dubbed "Mahler Unleashed!" My project, in collaboration with conductor Hugh Wolff and musicologist Katarina Markovic (both professors at NEC), was the centerpiece. Here's the full story.

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Eureka Finds It! {review}

{Boston Music Intelligencer} The Eureka Ensemble gave its debut concert on May 17, 2017. It was a hit! This review notes that "everything flowed naturally" and that "Eureka and Kondakçi passed...with flying colors". On the famous allegretto movement of the Beethoven, the reviewer commented that "Eureka’s performance...is now my favorite." 

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Young Weymouth Conductor Wields the baton with Boston Landmarks Orchestra {Interview}

When he arrived in Quincy at age 5, Kristo Kondakci didn’t know that his Albanian grandfather had spent eight years in prison for performing Western music. That story came out after Kondakci’s own musical gifts surfaced. His family history gives the newly appointed assistant conductor of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra a deep appreciation for his orchestra. In six free Hatch Shell concerts this summer, the orchestra will bring to audiences music from a variety of cultures and traditions.

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"First of Mahler" opens NEC season {review}

‘The First of Mahler’’ was the title of the opening concert of New England Conservatory’s season commemorating the 100th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s death. But what NEC offered at a packed Jordan Hall was a first in more ways than one, as the original version of Mahler’s First Symphony got what director of orchestras Hugh Wolff believes was its first performance since its Budapest premiere on Nov. 20, 1889. On Monday night, it was paired with Richard Strauss’s tone poem “Don Juan,’’ which debuted in Weimar on Nov. 11, 1889, and the NEC Philharmonia under Wolff was fully equal to the challenge of these two composers’ explosive early works.

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ReviewKristo KondakciComment
An American Premiere of Early Mahler's First

{Boston Globe} When the idea of doing a Mahler festival was being kicked around at New England Conservatory earlier this year, Hugh Wolff, the school’s director of orchestras and an eminent conductor, was tasked with coming up with some programs. He discovered that Strauss’s tone poem “Don Juan’’ and Mahler’s First Symphony had premiered within weeks of each other in 1889. He could program both works on opening night: Assignment complete.

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