Conductors and Directors
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.
Kara Hartten, Philharmonic Conductor
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. Ms. Hartten 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. She founded a string ensemble she currently directs, the UND Community Orchestra, and is a past conductor for NVYO’s Allegro Orchestra; she has additionally coached NVYO Crescendo chamber music and cello sectionals.
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.