Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Press Release

New Musicians for the 2015.2016 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Season

From a former Miss Minnesota to an indie popfolk songwriter.

By - Oct 8th, 2015 12:54 pm
Nicole Sutterfield. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Nicole Sutterfield. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

MILWAUKEE, WIS. 10/08/2015- The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra welcomes three new musicians to the roster for the 2015.2016 season: Nicole Sutterfield, assistant principal viola; Kevin Pearl, assistant principal oboe; and Benjamin Adler, assistant principal clarinet.

From a former Miss Minnesota to an indie popfolk songwriter, the new musicians in the Milwaukee Symphony all have two things in common – they are award-winning performers and big advocates for the arts in their communities.


Nicole Sutterfield, assistant principal viola – A Minnesota native, Ms. Sutterfield has enjoyed a multi-faceted career from the Midwest to the Pacific coast. As an orchestral musician, Ms. Sutterfield has been a member of the Santa Rosa Symphony and Spokane Symphony as well as principal violist of the Mozart Classical Orchestra of Orange County. She has performed as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra and Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, as a backup musician on American Idol, and as special entertainment at the Academy Awards Governors Ball. A former Miss Minnesota, Nicole used her year of service to champion quality music education, visiting over 20,000 students at 84 schools with a guest artist-in-residence program entitled “Music is Instrumental.” Since then, she has served as a Teaching Artist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Manager of Community Engagement Programs at the Colburn Conservatory, and the viola coach for the Spokane Symphony’s Young Musicians Education Programs. She has also participated in Arts Advocacy Days, lobbying for arts funding in both Minnesota and Washington, D.C. Nicole won first place in the Chicago Viola Society competition, was a semifinalist in the international Primrose Memorial Scholarship Competition, and received a Non-Finalist Talent Award at the 2007 Miss America Pageant. Ms. Sutterfield holds a professional studies certificate from The Colburn School Conservatory of Music as well as a bachelor of music with a minor in journalism from the University of Minnesota. Prior teachers include Paul Coletti, Korey Konkol, and Alice Preves. Nicole is excited to be living in the midwest once again and looks forward to exploring the greater Milwaukee area with her husband, Matthew, and their son, Gregory.

Kevin Pearl. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Kevin Pearl. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Kevin Pearl, assistant principal oboe – Kevin Pearl was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida from 2012-2015, and toured with the orchestra to the Harris Theater, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. During the summer, he performs with the Lakes Area Music Festival, and has also recently performed with the Verbier Festival, Spoleto USA, and the Aspen Music Festival.

As a chamber musician, Kevin performed regularly on the New World Symphony’s Sunday chamber music series, including a performance of Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds with pianist Garrick Ohlssohn. He has also written, recorded, and performed with the indie popfolk trio The alt Default, and helped to curate a first-ever collaborative performance between members of the Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony.

Kevin was born and raised in Coral Springs, FL, and received his bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music. He went on to earn a master of music degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. His primary teachers are Richard Killmer, Robert Atherholt, and Robert Weiner. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys exploring the many sights, tastes, activities, and events that his new hometown of Milwaukee has to offer.

Benjamin Adler, assistant principal clarinet- Benjamin Adler has held positions with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Debut Symphony Orchestra, American Youth Symphony, and has performed regularly and gone on tour with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Benjamin Adler. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Benjamin Adler. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Adler has performed as soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra and was a grand-prize winner in the Francis Walton LMC competition in 2014. Benjamin has competed in international competitions such as the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition, where he was a semi-finalist.

Benjamin has spent his summers in such festivals as the Aspen Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, and Breckenridge Music Festival and is currently principal clarinet of the Sierra Summer Festival in Mammoth Lakes, California. He also participated in the Hear Now Music Festival in Los Angeles.

Along with being a performer, Benjamin is an active educator within his surrounding communities. In addition to his own private teaching, Benjamin strongly believes in the power of music and outreach, and has worked in inner city schools in both Los Angeles and Chicago.

Mr. Adler grew up in Brooklyn, New York where he first started studying clarinet with his mother Laurie Friedman-Adler. Benjamin earned a bachelor of music degree at Northwestern University under the tutelage of Steve Cohen. He received his masters of music degree and artist diploma from the University of Southern California and the Colburn School respectively, where he studied with Yehuda Gilad.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Edo de Waart, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Now in his seventh season with the MSO, Maestro de Waart has led sold-out concerts, elicited critical acclaim, and conducted a celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2012. The MSO’s full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee.

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One thought on “New Musicians for the 2015.2016 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Season”

  1. Jerry Braden says:

    Hi MSO ! Thought you should know that the musicians of the orchestra are more qualified than what most people guess at. FYI, former Ist Violinist Peter Vickery, who moved back to Indiana last season has become the Asst. Principal Violinist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orch. There are others who have gone onto principal positions from the MSO to Houston, Chicago and elsewhere. Bravo MSO You do us proud. Any chance of a return engagement with violinist Nikolaj Znaider? His gold standard treatment of the Elgar Violin Concerto is still fresh on my heart. In fact that whole concert featuring the Faure’ Requiem is one of my all time favorites.

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