In Recital: Mark Sparks, flute and Orli Shaham, piano
Join us for an unforgettable evening of music-making with the dynamic duo of acclaimed flutist Mark Sparks joined by internationally renowned pianist Orli Shaham. St. Louis was lucky enough to be called home by these two musicians for a time and they have certainly left their musical mark. We are delighted to bring these hometown heroes back for this performance. Mr. Sparks and Ms. Shaham will be offering masterclasses during their time in St. Louis featuring WashU students. (Sparks - 2/18 & Shaham - 2/19)
Edison Box Office: 314-935-6543
General Admission - $30
WU Faculty/Staff - $25
Student/Youth - $5
“infused with great depth of colour, emotional range and well-tuned melodious elegance” -The Whole Note
“(his) playing was like liquid gold…gorgeous”
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78 “Regensonate” (1878-1879) (originally for violin and piano) by Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)
I. Vivace, ma non troppo
III. Allegro molto moderato
Regenlied, Op. 59, No. 3 (1872) (originally for voice and piano) by Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)
Three Romances for solo piano (1853) by Clara Schumann (1819 - 1896)
Adagio and Allegro (1849) (originally for horn and piano) by Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Sonata in B minor (1878) (originally for violin and piano) by Amanda Röntgen-Maier (1853 - 1894)
III. Allegro molto vivace
All arrangements by Mark Sparks
Mark Sparks is an American solo flutist, orchestral artist, teacher, and writer. He is the former Principal Flutist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure (2000-2021) he served under Music Directors Hans Vonk, David Robertson, and Stéphane Denève, and appeared as soloist with the orchestra numerous times. He has toured and performed with many orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago, Dallas, Bergen Philharmonic, Detroit, Cincinnati, Houston, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. Prior to his appointment in St. Louis, Sparks served as Associate Principal Flutist of the Baltimore Symphony, Principal Flute of the Memphis and San Antonio Symphony Orchestras, and began his professional career as Second Flute of the Caracas Philharmonic.
Sparks maintains an active solo career, having appeared in recital and with orchestras on 5 continents. He presented the world premiere of Katherine Hoover’s Four Winds Concerto in 2014. Sparks can be heard as solo recording artist on the Summit, Pesen, and AAM labels and has recorded with many orchestras on the Sony, Telarc, Nonesuch, and Decca and other labels.
Sparks is a faculty member of DePaul University in Chicago, and the Aspen Music Festival. He has coached many of America’s emerging orchestral artists at top orchestral training programs such as the New World Symphony, National Youth Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and the Pacific Music Festival. A frequent guest at major U.S. music schools and flute courses, many of his students occupy chairs in American orchestras. Recent activities include classes and performances at Rice University, Interlochen, New World Symphony, the Ohio Flute Festival, Eastman School of Music, London’s Royal Academy of Music, the British Flute Society, Cleveland Institute, Texas Flute Society, University of North Texas, and regular coaching at the Oberlin Conservatory.
Sparks writes and publishes several acclaimed book series for flutists, including Exploring Sound: Tone Development Through Orchestral Repertoire, Orchestral Excerpt Practice Books, Excerpt Duos, and Mozart X2. He is a Contributing Editor of Flute Talk Magazine, and publishes arrangements with Theodore Presser and his own sparksflute publishing. Mark Sparks is a Pi Kappa Lambda graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with Robert Willoughby, and an alumnus of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.
A consummate musician recognized for her grace, subtlety, and brilliance, the pianist Orli Shaham is hailed by critics on four continents. The New York Times called her a "brilliant pianist," The Chicago Tribune referred to her as “a first-rate Mozartean,” and London's Guardian said Ms. Shaham's playing at the Proms was “perfection."
Orli Shaham has performed with many of the major orchestras around the world, and has appeared in recital internationally, from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House. She is Artistic Director of Pacific Symphony’s chamber series Café Ludwig in California since 2007, and Artistic Director of the interactive children's concert series, Orli Shaham’s Bach Yard, which she founded in 2010.
Highlights of Ms. Shaham’s 2022-2023 concert season include performances with the Finnish Radio Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, and Vancouver Symphony (USA), where she was named VSO’s inaugural Artist-In-Residence. In 2022, she released Volumes 2 and 3 of the complete Mozart Piano Sonatas. Her Mozart recording project also includes Volume 1 of the Piano Sonatas, and Piano Concertos with St. Louis Symphony all of which are part of her discography of a dozen titles on Canary Classics, Deutsche Gramophone, Sony, and other labels.
Orli Shaham is a Co-Host and Creative for the national radio program From the Top. She is on the piano and chamber music faculty at The Juilliard School and is chair of the board of trustees at Kaufman Music Center in New York.
Orli Shaham has been a Steinway Artist since 2003.