Monday, November 20, 2023

FVSO Wins 2023 American Prize


Fox Valley Symphony Orchestras was named winner of the 2023 American Prize for Orchestral Performance in the professional division.

The win comes on the heels of another American Prize victory. Earlier this year, Music Director Kevin Sütterlin won second place for Conducting in the professional division of the American Prize. The two awards are the first time the American Prize has honored Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra.

“In the American Prize, we competed against many organizations from across the country, some with significantly larger budgets and seasons than ours,” said Sütterlin. “I hope our musicians are as proud as I am of our work together over the past five 

years. To be selected as the winner is a huge deal, and such a big honor. It’s time to celebrate!”

Executive Director Jamie LaFreniere said, “I am so proud of the efforts put in across the board. Our musicians rise to the challenge each time they are on stage, playing not only difficult standard repertoire but also new compositions which can be very difficult.”

Sütterlin agrees, adding, “I truly believe that the varied and diverse programming has helped us become a better orchestra. We have performed music from such a vast background, with extremely wide ranging technical and musical challenges. We have been finetuning our existing colors, experimented with entirely new color and sound palettes, deepened our rich string sound, have improved our rhythmic integrity, widened our dynamic range, researched various styles, elevated our expressiveness, and focused on making music with a purpose—always. Rehearsals are always hard work, but also always a lot of fun.”

Outside of rehearsals, FVSO puts a strong emphasis on building community within the Fox Cities communities. “Building a culture of trust, kindness, care, and grace allows us all to go deep,” says Sütterlin. “Only if we go deep can we present music that is true, and genuine, and powerful. This prestigious international award validates all of our hard work and confirms that we’re on the right path!”