Dr. Kevin F.E. Sütterlin is an internationally sought-after conductor and pedagogue. A dedicated 21st century musician, Sütterlin is passionate about exploring new, non-traditional forms of musical experience. Sütterlin belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a percentage of their concert fees to organizations they care about.
Sütterlin is Director of Orchestral Activities, Opera, and Symphonia. He is Associate Professor of Conducting at Concordia College. Under his direction, The Concordia Orchestra has won the prestigious American Prize in 2018-19. He and his colleagues and students received two EMMY awards for the nationally broadcast Concordia Christmas Concert productions in 2016.
Sütterlin is Music Director of the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra — one of Wisconsin’s finest professional orchestras — and Co-Music Director of Sinfonietta Memphis since 2014, an ensemble that provides free concerts and educational experiences for the Greater Memphis communities. Perhaps the only orchestra in the U.S. with a co-music directorship model, Sinfonietta Memphis’s conductors Dr. Mathias Elmer and Sütterlin proudly represent the orchestra’s credo: “friendship through music.” They also co-direct The Sinfonietta Academy for Historically Informed Performance Practice, which has recently been recognized as one of the country’s leading period performance practice institutes.
In 2019, Sütterlin was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Qingdao Concert Hall Symphony in China, and in 2021 Honorary Conductor of K-Classic Orchestras, a Korean organization dedicated to contributing to world peace through musical and cultural exchange. Sütterlin furthermore serves as Guest Conductor of Fargo-Moorhead Opera, where he recently directed productions of Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel to great acclaim.
Considering himself a “citizen of the world,” Sütterlin has been building musical bridges across four different continents and has led his ensembles on many successful national and international tours. He has performed and taught across the globe including in Austria, China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. He has taught at Shanghai Conservatory, Sichuan Conservatory, Ocean University Qingdao, University of Cape Town, University of Hawaii, Musikhochschule Luzern, University of Memphis, and Virginia Tech University. Highlights of his upcoming guest conducting season include engagements with the National Opera of Chile Chamber Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, VT Philharmonic, Arizona State University, Purdue University, and the University of Hawaii.
Sütterlin is an awardee of the Hirschmann Foundation scholarship of Switzerland, the Hendrickson Fine Arts Grant, the University of Memphis International Research scholarship, and the University of Memphis Creative Achievement Award.
Championing the music of living as well as historically under-represented composers, Sütterlin commits to broad and diverse programming on every single concert with all of his ensembles. He has commissioned and recorded works of numerous living composers, including Stella Sung, René Clausen, Jessie Montgomery, Adam Hochstatter, Dan Perttu, Theresa Martin, Christopher Ducasse, Evan Williams, Scott Hines, Paul Cravens, Russ Peterson, and Doug Harbin, among others. He is one of the world’s leading scholars of the music of late American composer Dominick Argento, sharing a close friendship with Argento until his death in 2019. Sütterlin’s recording collaborations include numerous CD and DVD productions.
With a great love and passion for teaching, Sütterlin holds The Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Endowed Orchestra Chair of the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival, directing the organization’s orchestral and conducting programs, and is Artistic Director of the Northern Valley Youth Orchestras. He is a much sought-after clinician for regional, state-wide, national, and international music festival and workshops. He was conductor of the Minnesota All-State Symphony for the 2018-19 season. He has conducted the South Dakota All-State Orchestra, North Dakota State Orchestra Festival, the Tennessee All-West Symphony Orchestra, Texas El Paso All-Region Symphony, and the Thurgau National Youth Symphony (Switzerland), among others. From 2011 until 2018, he served on the board of directors of the Zurich Music Association Switzerland, re-designing training curricula for both amateur as well as professional musicians that fit the needs of the 21st century. Sütterlin further serves on the board of the Miller Family Music Education Scholarship through the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.
Sütterlin received his doctorate and master’s degrees in orchestral conducting from The University of Memphis, where he studied with Dr. Pu-Qi and Michael Stern, and a bachelor’s degree in conducting from the Hochschule Luzern — Musik, Switzerland.
In his free time, Sütterlin loves to spend time with his fiancée, April, and their three cats. He loves traveling and learning from different cultures. The introvert’s secret life goal is to one day own a lighthouse in which he could get stuck during high tides and study scores while listening to the crashing waves.
Dr. Kevin Sütterlin conducts The Concordia Orchestra in Florence Price's Dances in the Canebrakes:
Dr. Kevin Sütterlin conducts the Fox Valley Symphony in Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Ballade:
Dr. Kevin Sütterlin conducts the Fox Valley Symphony in Stella Sung's The Phoenix Rising:
Dr. Kevin Sütterlin conducts The Concordia Orchestra in Bao Yuankai's Scenery of Wuxi (from: Chinese Sights and Sounds):
Dr. Kevin Sütterlin conducts the Fox Valley Symphony in Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Mov. 4:
Dr. Kevin Sütterlin conducts Sinfonietta Memphis in Beethoven's Symphony No. 8:
Dr. Kevin Sütterlin conducts The Concordia Orchestra in Jim Pugh's Trombone Concerto, featuring Dr. Nat Dickey as soloist:
Dr. Kevin Sütterlin introduces the interdisciplinary collaboration between the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Renaissance School for the Arts, bringing to life My Name is Aiden by composer and Concordia graduate Adam Hochstatter: