Dr. Kevin F.E. Sütterlin
Assistant Professor, Instrumental Conducting
Director of Orchestral Activities
Conductor, The Concordia Orchestra
A dedicated 21st century musician, Kevin Sütterlin is passionate about exploring new, nontraditional forms of musical experience. As co-music director of Sinfonietta Memphis, an ensemble he founded in 2014 together with his friend and conducting colleague Mathias Elmer, he strives to present historically informed performances of Viennese Classical composers in fresh and innovative ways. The German conductor is excited to work together with his students and colleagues in redefining the symphony orchestra of the 21st century and is committed to reinstating the relevance of art and music to everyday life.
Prior to his appointment at Concordia, Sütterlin served in several functions at the University of Memphis, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, including chief assistant conductor of the symphony orchestra, acting music director of the chamber orchestra, and acting music director of opera. In 2016, he received the University of Memphis Creative Achievement Award, the school’s most prestigious graduate performance honor. He also received the university’s International Research scholarship for his studies of the ancient Chinese sources used in Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Sütterlin is an awardee of the highly respected Hirschmann Foundation Switzerland scholarship. He was a finalist in the renowned American Prize Conducting Competition 2013 and 2014. Sütterlin has been a board member of the Zurich Music Association since 2010.
Considering himself a "citizen of the world," Sütterlin has been building musical bridges across three different continents. He has performed and taught master classes in many countries across the globe, including Austria, China, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United States. In the past year alone, he taught conducting classes at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, China, the Shanghai Conservatory – School of Music, the Staufen Music Academy in Germany and the University of Memphis Conducting Symposium. Another highlight of the young conductor's career was his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2011.
Sütterlin completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Memphis – Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music in 2016. His dissertation was on Dominick Argento’s opera Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night, examining Argento’s compositional style as well as the opera’s intricacies and challenges from a conductor’s standpoint. He also holds a Master of Music in orchestral conducting from the University of Memphis and a Bachelor of Arts in Music in instrumental conducting with secondary majors in voice and piano from the Hochschule Luzern – Musik in Lucerne, Switzerland (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Conservatory of Music). Sütterlin is grateful for the continuous guidance, mentoring and friendship of his main teachers, Dr. Pu-Qi Jiang (USA), Mark Ensley (USA), Christoph Rehli (CH) and Douglas Bostock (UK). Further studies have led him to Michael Stern (USA) and Ralf Weikert (AT), among others.
Sütterlin is passionate about working with young musicians. He is an internationally sought-after clinician and teacher. He has directed youth symphony programs in Winterthur, Switzerland, and in Germantown-Memphis, Tennessee. In both positions, he designed and installed new comprehensive curricula encompassing music history, theory, aural training and conducting to ensure a well-rounded education for his students.
In his free time, Sütterlin enjoys experimenting in the kitchen. He loves to travel and to experience and learn from different cultures. He also likes to walk the dogs from the animal shelter. The secret introvert’s life dream is to own a lighthouse in which he could get stuck during high tides, studying the scores of the former masters while listening to the crashing waves.