Dmitry Kouzov Appointed to Oberlin Conservatory Cello Faculty

January 15, 2020
Erich Burnett
cello faculty member Dmitri Kouzov holding his cello.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Dmitry Kouzov

Standout performer returns to campus 12 years after beginning his U.S. teaching career here.

Cellist Dmitry Kouzov, a versatile musician and teacher who has cultivated an international reputation for his magnificent performances worldwide, has been named associate professor of cello at Oberlin Conservatory.

A faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the past 10 years, Kouzov will begin teaching at Oberlin in fall 2020. He previously served as a visiting professor at Oberlin in 2008 and 2011.

“I simply enjoyed every minute I spent here,” Kouzov says. “The students and faculty are superb, and I have great memories of those times. Oberlin is very dear to me as it is one of the places where I started my teaching career in the U.S. I’m terribly excited to start my new work!”

Kouzov was born in what is now St. Petersburg, Russia, where he began cello lessons at age 7. A graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory Lyceum, he later earned a BM and MM in cello performance at the Sibelius School in Helsinki and an artist diploma at the Juilliard School, where his teachers included Mark Reizenshtock, Victoria Yagling, Joel Krosnick, and Darrett Adkins.

A first-prize winner at the International Beethoven Competition in the Czech Republic and a winner of the New York Cello Society Rising Star Award, Kouzov has appeared as soloist with many orchestras including the State Academic Symphony of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, South Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Ukraine, and the Johannesburg Philharmonic. He has recorded cello concertos by Shostakovich, George Walker, and Sean Hickey with the Sinfonia Varsovia and the St. Petersburg Symphony orchestras.

Kouzov has been a guest artist at the Verbier Festival, International Bach Festival (Switzerland), Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (Germany), May of Janáček International Festival (Czech Republic), and the Kiev Summer Music Nights International Festival (Ukraine), among others, and he has appeared at the Caramoor and Ravinia festivals Rising Stars concert series. For the past eight years, Kouzov has served as artist-faculty at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival.

An avid chamber musician, he was a founding member of the award-winning Manhattan Piano Trio. He has collaborated with Krzysztof Penderecki, Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Evgenii Sudbin, Nicholas Angelich, Shmuel Ashkenasi, and the Pacifica and Jupiter string quartets, among others. He frequently appears in a duo with his wife, pianist and educator Yulia Fedoseeva.

Among Kouzov’s numerous accolades, he has been praised for his “astounding virtuoso skills" (Gramophone) and “bold and hugely committed performances” (The Strad).

Kouzov’s most recent recordings include music for violin and cello by Eisler, Widmann, and Ravel, and an album of French cello sonatas on Delos in collaboration with his longtime chamber partners and friends, violinist Ilya Gringolts and pianist Peter Laul.

“It is my great privilege to welcome Dmitry Kouzov to Oberlin,” says Dean of the Conservatory William Quillen. “He has forged a dynamic and wide-ranging career rooted in exemplary musicianship and teaching. Dmitry’s dedication to his craft and his generous collaborative spirit will serve as an inspiration to our students.”

“Dmitry Kouzov is a phenomenal cellist and gifted teacher, and we are thrilled that he and his family will be joining the Oberlin community!” adds David Bowlin, a professor of violin and chair of Oberlin’s Division of Strings.

“I feel that my goal as a teacher is to give my students the ability to successfully teach themselves,” Kouzov says. “In other words, I want to help them to become well-educated and well-equipped independent musicians capable of making good decisions by and for themselves.”

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