USD professors present world music premiere A special event took place on Sunday, Sept. 21 in Parkston. USD music professors Larry Schou and John Thomson gave the first performance of Fantasy Variations for Violin and Harpsichord, a new composition by Kenneth Klauss.
Klauss, a native of Parkston, has resided in California for over 50 years. Because there is little modern music for violin with harpsichord, Schou and Thomson have begun work to encourage new pieces. Klauss' piece is the second such work to be composed.
The performance took place in the Klauss-James Archive in Parkston, which Thomson describes as a gorgeous old building that was formerly a bank. Now it houses Klauss' music and the artwork of Klauss' friend, the painter Bernard James.
It is open to anyone wishing to enjoy the music or art, and provides a beautiful haven of peace in a busy world.
The musical program began with more traditional works by Joseph Boulogne, Tartini and Haydn, before ending with the Klauss composition. Klauss described the event as being especially emotional, and expressed delight with both the performance and the piece.
While he is no longer a resident of South Dakota, he believes that the standard of the performance was equal to the very best anywhere in the world.
Thomson and Schou are both taken with the new piece, and plan to feature it in upcoming performances.