After four and a half years as Concertmaster of the FSSO and leader of the Odeion String Quartet, Denise Sutton decided to move back to Pretoria. During the time she was in Bloemfontein, Denise had an enormous influence on the standard of playing in the orchestra and was a huge inspiration for many fellow musicians.
Denise Sutton is well known as a concertmaster, chamber musician, teacher, soloist and examiner.
A graduate of the University of Stellenbosch, where she had violin lessons with Paul Martens, she continued her studies in Europe thanks to an Ernest Oppenheimer scholarship. She studied with Theo Olof (concertmaster – Concertgebaauw Orchestra); Nap de Klijn (leader – Netherlands String Quartet) and Peter Carter (leader – Allegri String Quartet)
During the years that she worked with the Scottish and English Chamber Orchestras, and as concertmaster of numerous orchestras, she had the good fortune to work with artists such as Sir Charles MacKerras, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Karl Richter, Dame Janet Baker, Elly Ameling, Jessie Norman, Marilyn Horne, Grace Bumbry, Robert Tear, Pinchas Zuckerman, Joshua Bell, Salvatore Accardo, Lynn Harrel, Paul Tortelier, Vladimir Ashkenazy, John Lill, to name but a few.
She acknowledges the enormous influence these, and other fine local and international musicians, have had on her musical life.
Denise has been leader of the Odeion String Quartet String Quartet and Head of the Strings Department at the University of the Free State since 2008.