Dr. Kevin F.E. Sütterlin

Assistant Professor, Instrumental Conducting; Director of Orchestral Activities; Conductor, The Concordia Orchestra and Concordia Opera Music

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. He supports WIRES (Australian Wildlife Rescue) and the Memphis Music Initiative through his performances.

Sütterlin is director of Orchestral Activities and Opera and professor of Instrumental Conducting at Concordia College, where he and his colleagues received two EMMY awards for 2016’s nationally broadcast Concordia Christmas Concert productions. He is music director and conductor of The Concordia Orchestra and Concordia Opera.

Sütterlin is music director and conductor of the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, one of Wisconsin’s finest professional symphonies. Furthermore, Sütterlin is artistic director of the Sinfonietta Academy for Historically Informed Performance Practice, and founding co-music director of Sinfonietta Memphis, an ensemble that provides free concerts and educational experiences for Memphis’s most diverse 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. 

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 Austria, China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the United States. He recently conducted the Fargo-Moorhead Opera’s production of Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel to great acclaim. Institutions he has taught at include the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Sichuan Conservatory, The University of Hawaii, Lucerne Conservatory Switzerland, and The University of Memphis. This upcoming season, Sütterlin will guest conduct in China, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Texas, Alabama, Connecticut, Virginia, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota. 

Sütterlin most recently won the prestigious American Prize 2018-19 with The Concordia Orchestra. He 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 new music, Sütterlin has commissioned and recorded works of numerous living composers, including René Clausen, Adam Hochstatter, Dan Perttu, Christopher Ducasse, Paul Cravens, Russ Peterson, and Doug Harbin, among others. He is one of the leading scholars of the music of American composer Dominick Argento, sharing a close friendship with him until his death in 2019. Sütterlin’s recording collaborations include numerous CD and DVD productions.

Before joining the faculty at Concordia College in 2016, Sütterlin served The University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music as acting music director of the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Opera.

Sütterlin is very passionate about working with young musicians. He holds The Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Endowed Orchestra Chair as director of Orchestral Activities and Conducting Studies of the Lutheran Summer Music Festival and Academy. He has been artistic director of the Northern Valley Youth Orchestras since 2016. He was conductor of the Minnesota All-State Symphony for the 2018-19 season. In 2017, he conducted the North Dakota State Orchestra Festival and in 2018 the Tennessee All-West Symphony Orchestra. This season, he is conducting the Texas El Paso All-Region Symphony, the South Dakota All-State Orchestra, 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 and a bachelor’s degree in conducting from the Hochschule Luzern – Musik (Switzerland).

In his free time, Sütterlin loves to spend time with his partner, April, and their three cats. He also loves traveling and learning from different cultures. The secret introvert’s life dream is to 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 César Franck’s Symphony in D minor, Mov. 1.


Dr. Kevin F.E. Sütterlin

Assistant Professor, Instrumental Conducting; Director of Orchestral Activities; Conductor, The Concordia Orchestra and Concordia Opera Hvidsten – 140