Conductors and Directors

Kevin Sütterlin, Artistic Director. Conductor, Symphony Orchestra

A dedicated 21st century musician, German-born conductor Dr. Kevin Sütterlin is passionate about exploring new, non-traditional forms of musical experience. Dr. Sütterlin is Director of Orchestral Activities at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Prior to that, Dr. 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 Graduate Performance Award, the school’s highest creative achievement honor. He is an awardee of the prestigious Hirschmann Foundation scholarship and the University of Memphis International Research scholarship. He was finalist in the renowned American Prize Conducting Competition 2013 and 2014.

As Co-Music Director of Sinfonietta Memphis, he strives to present historically informed performances of Viennese Classical composers in fresh and innovative ways. Considering himself a ‘citizen of the world’ Sütterlin has been building musical bridges across three different continents. He has taught and performed in many countries, including Austria, China, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland. Sütterlin holds a Bachelor in Conducting from the Hochschule Luzern – Musik, Switzerland and a Master of Music and DMA in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Memphis. He is grateful for the continuous guidance of his mentors Pu-Qi Jiang, Mark Ensley, Christoph Rehli, Douglas Bostock, and Michael Stern.

Dr. 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, 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.

 Conductors for our training orchestras are  experienced educators and teachers.
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Suzanne Larson, Conductor Philharmonic Orchestra 2016-17

Suzanne Larson currently teaches orchestra for West Fargo Public Schools at Liberty Middle School. Prior to her West Fargo assignment, she taught elementary and middle school strings in the Grand Forks Public Schools. Suzanne received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of North Dakota and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at MSUM. Suzanne is  principal violist with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra. She also subs for the Fargo-Moorhead and Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestras. Suzanne is frequently asked to play at weddings and to perform with string quartets.  She has been the past Co-Director of the Divertimento Chamber Orchestra and Summer Strings Programs in Grand Forks. Suzanne is regularly asked to judge at String Solo and Ensemble Contests in North Dakota and Minnesota. Currently, she is serving as President of the North Dakota American String Teachers Association and is a past East Region Representative for the North Dakota Music Educators Board.  She maintains a private lesson studio and teaches at the Red River String Camp in Moorhead, Minnesota in the summer.  Suzanne resides in West Fargo, ND, with her husband Jon.

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Sarah Harlow,

Philharmonic Orchestra Wind/Brass/Percussion & Assistant Conductor, 2016-17

Sarah Harlow is a music educator in the Grand Forks area, presently at Grand Forks Central High School. She began teaching after graduating Summa Cum Laude from North Dakota State University in the spring of 2012 and currently teaches Band and Choir, grades five through twelve, at Larimore Public Schools. She has also taught numerous private students on clarinet and saxophone. Sarah is a co-founder of the summer band program “Bands on the Red”, a staff member of the Northern Ambassadors Music Tour, and has previously coached wind sectionals for NVYO. Sarah has performed with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Forks City Band, and many chamber ensembles. Sarah Harlow currently lives in Grand Forks, ND.

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Kara Hartten, Conductor Allegro Orchestra, 2016-17

Kara Hartten began her musical studies at the age of five in her hometown of Redding, Connecticut.  She earned both a Bachelor of Music Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in French from DePauw University, followed by a Master of Music in cello performance and instrumental conducting from the University of North Dakota. During her graduate studies, Kara worked as the graduate teaching assistant in cello and orchestra, as well as founded a string ensemble she currently directs, the UND Community Orchestra. Kara has additionally coached Crescendo chamber music and cello sectionals for the Northern Valley Youth Orchestras.

As a cellist, Kara has performed with the UND Student String Quartet and UND’s Red River Trio, a student ensemble that toured in May of 2014 in Tokyo, Japan and Shanghai, China. Kara has studied with Drs. Simona Barbu, Darilyn Manring, Yeon-Ji Yun, and Eric Edberg, as well as performed in master classes with renowned cellists such as Amit Peled, Matt Haimovitz, Nicholas Photinos, Emilio Colon and Laszlo Varga. In 2009, she performed with the DePauw Chamber Orchestra during a tour of Austria and Germany. She also performed the Lalo cello concerto with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra in 2007 as the winner of its concerto competition. In 2011, she played Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat major with internationally known cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Kara is presently an orchestra teacher in the Grand Forks Public Schools and performs with the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra as well as the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra.

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