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The Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra (FVSO) and the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center are proud to announce the orchestra has been named the winner of the 2023 American Prize for Orchestral Performance in the professional division.

The Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra has been a Resident Partner to the Fox Cities P.A.C. since before the Center opened its doors to the public in November 2002, providing an invaluable voice for the community. This local orchestra has helped students understand the innerworkings of an orchestra through the Amcor Education Series and co-presented with the Center on numerous public performances over the years, featuring world-class talent including Disney’s Fantasia (2014-15 Season), Itzhak Perlman (2016-17 Season), Joshua Bell (2017-18 Season), The New York Tenors (2022-23 Season) and The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass (2023-24 Season). 

This 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 agreed, 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,” said 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!”

Visit foxcitiespac.com/events-tickets/events/ to see a full list of upcoming Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra performances for the remainder of the 2023-24 Season, as well as a list of all other performances at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.


The Symphony’s mission is to build bridges of accessibility to orchestra music and to make a positive impact on the lives of everyone in our community. Founded in 1966, the non-profit provides the community with orchestra concerts, community outreach programming, and three Youth Orchestra programs. Music Director Dr. Kevin Sütterlin leads the adult orchestra, with Dr. Mark Dupere conducting Youth Orchestra, Greg Austin conducting Concert Orchestra, and Adam Brown conducting Philharmonia. Youth Orchestras serve students from middle school through high school and
accept students from all regions of the Fox Valley. There are full scholarships available for all three youth groups.

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts and cultural education organization located in downtown Appleton, provides a premier venue for live performing arts. Since 2002, the Center has proudly served as a multicultural gathering place for the community to engage in educational opportunities while enhancing a greater understanding and appreciation of life through the live performing arts. The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center — Where the Arts Come Alive!