Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra’s new conductor, Kevin Sütterlin, begins his debut season on September 21.
Sütterlin is originally from Germany and came to the United States to finish his doctorate program in orchestral conducting at the University of Memphis. When the conductor position with Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra (FVSO) opened two years ago, Sütterlin was interested because the orchestra was very attractive to him.
“They were doing a lot of great work in the community by working with schools, retirement homes and people with special needs. I think that’s really important because it makes music relevant again,” Sütterlin says.
FVSO offers a diverse education and outreach program portfolio, which Sütterlin plans to continue growing. One of the orchestra’s initiatives, In Harmony, partners a string quartet with a licensed music therapist, site staff and volunteers, and music education students from Lawrence University to present music-therapy informed performances at special needs classrooms and adult day centers.
“Music can speak to you without you having to say anything. I really believe that we can make a difference through our art,” Sütterlin says.
Sütterlin is going to focus on diverse, unrepresented composers throughout the 2019-20 season. Instead of “another dead white man,” he is going to represent women, people of color, people from different cultural or religious backgrounds, and people of different sexual orientations.
Sütterlin hopes to build bridges through music. He believes an artist’s responsibility is to connect people from different backgrounds and produce harmony rather than division with their art.
“I’m trying to make this world a little more peaceful, one note at a time,” he says.
Join FVSO on September 21 for the season’s opening night concert featuring Principal Flute Linda Nielsen Korduci and Principal Harp Alison Attar. For tickets, call 730-3760.