"Kouzov’s rendition made a strong case for this little-known gem [the Schumann Cello Concerto]. He had a beautiful tone throughout the three uninterrupted movements and phrased each passage with exquisite dynamics and articulation." —Palm Beach Daily News
“[Concerto No.2’s] sombre solo opening grows beautifully in his hands. Passages of delicate detail are once again beautifully accomplished, and I really like his characterisation of the scherzo, with its jaunty street-seller’s song growing increasingly desperate and its indecent glissandos . . . a heartfelt statement at the opening, poised playing of the little march and plenty of lyrical eloquence.” —The Strad
“[Sean Hickey's] Cello Concerto . . . features Dmitry Kouzov . . . in a setting that dramatically showcases his astounding virtuoso skills.” —Gramophone Magazine
“Kouzov and Lande also tap into the ambivalence of the more elusive Concerto no 2. This is another very good reading–Kouzov an eloquent guide to the first movement’s shadowy landscape . . . And Kouzov’s playing in the closing minutes is masterly. He vanishes into the mist, accompanied by ticking woodblocks and xylophone - an extraordinary, spectral passage.” —The Arts Desk, UK
“Kouzov has a dark, burnished tone . . . he is positively electrifying in the finale of the Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 126, where the cello, at often blistering speeds in the passagework, seemingly goes into battle with military fanfares and snare drums . . . this is a Russian performance through and through, with the instinctive feel for the complexity of emotion in Shostakovich's music that tends most often to come in Russian interpretations . . . this release provides strong competition to the leading Shostakovich cello concerto versions.” —www.allmusic.com
"This is an excellent new cello concerto [by Sean Hickey], and soloist Dmitry Kouzov . . . is a very impressive performer . . . I highly recommend this disc." —Audiophile
“These concertos . . . couldn't possibly have better advocates than the musicians on this enterprising Delos disc of discovery . . . [Sean Hickey’s] cello concerto was commissioned by the soloist here, Dmitry Kouzov, who delivers a vibrant, totally committed account of it.” —Classical Lost and Found
“American composer Sean Hickey comes out swinging with this new recording . . . which showcases the talents of cellist Dmitry Kouzov . . . Top notch.” —The Scene
“Everything that Dmitry Kouzov played was excellent . . . he did a marvelous job” —The Washington Post
“His technique is easy and secure, his tone warm and focused. He played with expressiveness and sensitivity . . .” —Strings Magazine
“This unusually difficult program, the five sonatas of Beethoven, was played with exceptional mastery, deep musicality, perfect taste and style.” —St. Petersburg Musical Herald
“Tchaikovsky's Pezzo-capriccioso showcased the complete mastery of Dmitry Kouzov.” —Palm Beach Daily News
“His heart-felt but unsentimental playing of Schumann's Adagio & Allegro was the finest I have heard live or on record.” —Classical Voice of North Carolina
“Each and every bar was marked with a special purpose to foster both new and original ideas. The performance was defined by a sense of perfect proportion and detailing of articulation and phrasing.” —Mariinsky Theater Newspaper
“Soloist and orchestra were at one in reflecting both the work's emotional fullness and refinement. This last word also describes the cellist's solo playing of his encore: Bach's Sarabande.” —Beeld, South African National Newspaper
Praised as “a true artist” by Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich, the young cellist Dmitry Kouzov won the First Prize at the International Beethoven Competition and the New York Cello Society “Rising Star” Award, and is a two-time laureate of Russia’s International “Virtuosi of the Year” Festival-Competition.
Mr. Kouzov has performed worldwide with orchestras, in recitals, and in chamber music performances. He made his New York orchestral début at Alice Tully Hall in 2005 under the baton of Maestro Raymond Leppard, and has performed as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Russia), the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Ukraine, the South Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic (Czech Republic), and the Cape Town and Johannesburg Philharmonic orchestras (South Africa), to name a few.
Mr. Kouzov has performed at such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, (New York City), Sala São Paulo (Brazil), and at the most important venues in his native Russia, including both St. Petersburg Philharmonic Halls, the halls of the Moscow and St. Petersburg Conservatories, and the Mariinsky Theater. He has appeared as a guest artist at many international festivals such as Caramoor and Kneisel Hall (USA), the Verbier and International Bach Festivals (Switzerland), the Schleswig-Holstein (Germany), “Janacek May” (Czech Republic), “Art-November”(Russia), and Kiev Summer Music Nights” (Ukraine) Festivals. He has given command performances before Mikhail Gorbachev and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
Chamber music collaborators include Joshua Bell, Yuri Bashmet, Krzysztof Penderecki, Ilya Gringolts, Shmuel Ashkenasi, and major string quartets. Special programs include the complete Brahms and Beethoven sonata cycles with long-time duo partner, pianist Peter Laul, and the complete Bach suites for unaccompanied cello.
Mr. Kouzov’s discography includes both Shostakovich concertos with the St. Petersburg State Symphony and the cello concerto by Sean Hickey on the Delos label (2013); concertos by George Walker with the Sinfonia Varsovia on the Albany label; the complete C.P.E. Bach gamba sonatas on Naxos; “Two Hundred Years of Cello Masterpieces” on Marquis; and the complete Schumann piano trios on Onyx Classics.
In addition to his performing activities, Mr. Kouzov is currently Associate Professor of Cello at the University of Illinois School of Music, and was previously on the faculties of Juilliard and the Oberlin Conservatory.
Further information is available on www.dmitrykouzov.com.