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the Kouzov Duo (copy)

The Kouzov Duo featuring cellist Dmitry Kouzov and pianist Yulia Kouzova open the Black Hills Chamber Music Society's "A Season of Sensational Strings" at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Rapid City's First Congregational Church.

A spectacular afternoon of Bach, Brahms and Beethoven with internationally acclaimed musicians will open the Black Hills Chamber Music Society’s new season.

The society’s 2017-2018 concert series, “A Season of Sensational Strings,” will bring five strings-based ensembles from around the state, nation and world to Rapid City.

“So many people who come to our concerts love strings,” said Justine Estes, president of the Black Hills Chamber Music Society’s board of directors. “For chamber music, strings are one of the most popular ways that composers have written music.”

Cellist Dmitry Kouzov and Russian pianist Yulia Fedoseeva will delight local music lovers with an afternoon of world-class music. Kouzov trained with Mstislav Rostropovich, renowned as one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century. Classical, romantic and “a little bit of everything” will be included as the duo performs works from Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Brahms and more, Estes said.

“We’re thrilled for the first concert. … Mr. Kouzov is one of most famous cellists in the world,” Estes said. “When we listened to him play, even though it was online, the sound of his cello is one of the most beautiful cellos we had heard. It’s so all-involving that you feel the emotion he’s trying to give to the audience.”

Known for her passionate and musical interpretations and impressive technical facility, pianist Fedoseeva is an acclaimed soloist, chamber musician and teacher. She has performed throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Some people who come to our concerts will have heard of the Kouzov Duo and some not. I think the audience will love them,” Estes said.

After the Kouzov Duo concert, concertgoers can attend a reception and talk to the musicians.

Described as “music with friends,” chamber music offers music lovers the opportunity to enjoy exceptional performances in a smaller, more intimate setting than traditional symphony orchestra concerts. Chamber music typically is performed by a duo, trio or quartet, and each musician must be a strong soloist.

“When only a few musicians are playing, you feel closer to the musicians as you’re sitting in the audience,” Estes said. “It’s a different kind of music. It’s personal. You can hear everything. … Chamber music is the idea of a conversation between friends.”

Estes hopes the lineup for the upcoming season will encourage those who’ve never attended a chamber music concert to try it.

“You have to experience chamber music to understand why it’s so wonderful,” she said.

In addition to the Kouzov Duo, the Black Hills Chamber Music Society’s 2017-2018 season will include:

•Telegraph Quartet, Oct. 29: The award-winning San Francisco-based quartet plays a repertoire of standard chamber music, contemporary and non-standard music. The quartet has performed internationally and is planning to release its first album this year. Telegraph Quartet is the Quartet-in-Residence at the San Francisco Conservatory.

• J. Laiten Weed High School Honors Orchestra, Feb. 24: This will be a performance by the top 22 students from South Dakota All-State Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Jungho Kim, Director of Orchestras at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. “They really play beautifully. You can tell these kids could be professional someday. It’s a wonderful concert,” Estes said.

• Irrera Brothers piano and violin duo, April 15: The brothers are graduates of the Eastman School of Music, where in May 2014 they became the first siblings ever in the school’s history to graduate together, each with their Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. As soloists and a duo, the Irrera Brothers are acclaimed, award-winning musicians who perform a mix of classical and modern music. The Irrera Brothers’ newest album, “Vitali, Scarbrough, Rachmaninoff” can be downloaded on iTunes.

• Jasper String Quartet, May 6: The Jasper String Quartet was formed at Oberlin Conservatory in 2006. This award-winning ensemble is acclaimed for performing with vitality and verve. Jasper String Quartet is the Professional Quartet in Residence at Temple University's Center for Gifted Young Musicians and the 2017-18 Guest Artist in Residence at Swarthmore College. The quartet recently released its first album, “Unbound.”

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