Flauti al Castello 2020

Click here for 2019 fotos



EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Commit with half down by March 1st, 2020 ( non refundable) and receive $150 off tuition


JULY 29-AUGUST 8th 2020

A ten-day intensive flute seminar with flutists Mark Sparks and Sergio Pallottelli and pianist extraordinaire William Braun 


“Flauti is so much about authenticity…Sergio and I offer participants a unique, boutique European master class experience.  Authentic Tuscan culture, authentic cuisine, and authentic teaching and performing.  It’s the real deal.” -Mark Sparks


Join flutists Sergio Pallottelli and Mark Sparks for ten days at Castello di Sorci, in the heart of Tuscany, for incredible fluting, sharing views and emotions on music, auditioning, attending school, performing, collaborating, phrasing and wonderful concerts. Mark and Sergio are two flutists of different backgrounds and walks of life, but share the same soul as musicians and have developed a deep, brother-like friendship and way of living music in the most serene way. By sharing their friendship and collaborating with young flutists, in this exclusive boutique-like master class, in the most magical and stress-free setting in the Tuscan hills, they create the most ideal environment to learn and share life, food, nature and being human in this ever- evolving world, all key to being a successful musician. Hard work, rehearsals and discussions take over most of the mornings and late afternoons, but there is plenty of time incorporated in the schedule to visit nearby historic towns, hike and breathe in the Italian culture. The area is home of Piero della Francesca famous frescoes and the birth town of Michalangelo is close-by. The value of breathing and experiencing this, will remain forever and shape the musicianship beyond all boundaries.

Class is taught in group, every student playing two individual 45 minute sessions, for each faculty, in front of the rest of the group. Everyone is required to be at every session, as this fuels the conversation and allows it to stay continuous, both emotionally and intellectually. The extraordinary pianist William Braun is available for all classes and open for rehearsals as well. His input, knowledge and incredible wit, complete the faculty trio, which performs a gala concert during the festival. The two final student recitals take place at end of festival and are the highlight of this magical time together, a culmination of ten days of hard and passionate work.


29 July                 Arrival and welcome reception-Transportation provided from the   Florence airport or Arezzo train station

30 July- 7 August    Master classes, faculty concerts, student recital, group excursions

8 August               Departure-Transportation provided to the Florence airport or Arezzo train station

Tuition includes:

*Two master classes daily

*Lodging for ten nights in Sorci Castle

*Three meals daily, 30 July-August 7 ; evening reception/dinner on 29 July

*Transportation from and to the Florence airport or Arezzo train station, and for local excursions

*Services of collaborative pianist William Braun

*Faculty concerts

*Total cost: $1850 (USD)

*Private lessons available with Mr.Sparks and Mr. Pallottelli upon request at €90/lesson

Auditors are welcome to attend classes for a daily fee of €50. Fine restaurants and overnight accommodations are available in Anghiari and other nearby towns.

To apply:

Applications are due May 1. Non refundable application of $50 due with application. Click here FLAUTI 2020 Application PDF to download application. We will ask you to send a video link that best represents your playing, of two contrasting pieces, one technical and one lyrical. Questions and applications may be directed to flautialcastello@gmail.com.

Special conditions

Under 18 years of age students will be accepted on a limited basis, and will need a parent or guardian to sign a letter of consent.

Flauti al Castello is not responsible for damages caused by participants. Any damage caused to property or persons, will be the responsibility of the participant. Travel arrangements that do not fall in the pickup and return dates for the festival will not be covered by the festival.

Allergies: We do our best to satisfy all food allergy requests, but are in no way responsible if requests cannot be met given the extremely rural setting of the place and cuisine. The kitchen staff accommodates everyone, but the resources of what is available limit the choices greatly. This restaurant serves some of the best food in Italy, you will not be disappointed!

About the faculty:

Mark pic.jpg

Flutist MARK SPARKS is a dynamic orchestral artist, soloist, chamber musician, and teacher who has performed in many of theworld’s most prestigious venues. He is widely recognized for his colorful tone, spirited phrasing, and charismatic style (described by the Denver Post as “mesmerizing”).

Appointed Principal Flutist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra by the late Hans Vonk in 2000, he has appeared as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony numerous times, most recently in February 2015, October 2014, and on the Orchestra’s 2013 California Tour in performances of Christopher Rouse’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, with STL Symphony, Music Director David Robertson conducting. He has appeared as guest Principal flutist with numerous ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago, Dallas, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and Bergen Norway Symphony Orchestras, and was a member of the Baltimore, San Antonio, Memphis, Canton Ohio, and Caracas Venezuela Symphony Orchestras before his appointment to the STL Symphony. Recent additional concerto appearances include the Aspen Philharmonia, Taiwan National, and Singapore Symphony Orchestras.

Sparks can be heard as solo recording artist on the Summit and AAM labels, with various orchestras on the Sony, Telarc, Nonesuch, and Decca labels, and has recently released his third solo recording, “French Album” with pianist Peter Henderson.

Mr. Sparks enjoys a generous schedule of master classes, teaching and recital performances. Recent activities included appearances at the Ohio Flute Association, Texas Flute Society, the Illinois Flute Society, the Eastman School of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, Oberlin College, Northwestern University, and Yale, among others, a residency at Baylor University, and a recital at NFA Conventions, most recently presenting the world premiere of Katherine Hoover’s Four Winds Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Other activities included a New York Flute Club recital and masterclass, residencies at Ithaca College and the University of Missouri at Columbia, and recitals at Maryville University, the SLAM in St. Louis, the Chicago Flute Club, and DePaul University. Additional engagements include numerous appearances with the Chicago Symphony as Guest Principal flute under Riccardo Muti, a master class at The Colburn School, a masterclass and recital for the Portland, Oregon Flute Society. Plans also include a residency at the South Carolina Flute Festival, a residency at North Carolina School for the Arts, a recital tour in the Boston area, coachings for the National Youth Orchestra, the 2017 STL Symphony premier of the Hoover Concerto, and performances of the Bach B minor Suite with the STL Symphony in March.

An internationally recognized teacher, Sparks was recently appointed to the teaching faculty at DePaul University. He is a former full­time faculty member of Baltimore’s Peabody Institute, and maintains a busy teaching studio in St. Louis. Numerous former students occupy orchestra chairs and teaching positions in the U.S. and abroad. He frequently coaches at top orchestral training programs such as Aspen, the New World Symphony, NOI, and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. In summer 2016 he joined the coaching faculty of the Carnegie Hall National Youth Orchestra, and this summer he joins the faculty of Flauti al Castello in Tuscany, Italy.

Mr. Sparks is a 24­year faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and is Principal flutist of the Aspen Chamber Symphony. He is an avid writer on flute­related subjects, and a regular contributor to Flute Talk Magazine. Sparks also has recently published flute and piano arrangements of works by Bruch and Faure with Theodore Presser.

Born in the U.S. in 1960, Mr. Sparks graduated with honors from the Oberlin Conservatory as a student of Robert Willoughby. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Society, and the National Flute Association, and ASCAP. Mr. Sparks also trained at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Aspen, Sarasota, and the National Repertory Orchestra.

Mr. Sparks is at www.marksparksflute.com

sergio-promo-5-e1539874359857.jpgSergio Pallottelli captivates and dazzles audiences worldwide. As a soloist and avid chamber musician, he has performed in halls of Europe, Australia, US and South America. Constantly in search of a new composition or a new piece to adapt for the flute, he offers elegant and passionate programming. Pallottelli communicates with his audiences in the most charismatic way, be it in major orchestra halls or chamber settings alike. His virtuosic and poetic style of playing has a human approach to it and is always at the service of music; his sound is alive and multicolored, his phrasing elegant yet daring. He is interested in a wide variety of styles, which drives him to collaborate with composers world-wide. His love for chamber music has brought him to perform with top musicians from five continents.

Pallottelli is equally at home playing and teaching music from the Baroque to our time, as well as music of Latin America.  Having toured Central America and South America for over ten years, he has developed a deep passion for the music of  Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela. Performing music of our time plays an important role in Pallottelli’s career as it is a living continuation of history and musical development; he frequently collaborates with composers to increase the repertoire for the flute and has premiered several new works for the instrument. This always opens new windows of knowledge, brings great freshness to his playing and broadens his musical horizon.

The 2017-18 season included recitals, concertos and master classes in Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and Ecuador. Further engagements took Pallottelli to Rice University, University of Houston and University of Utah.

The upcoming season brings recitals and chamber music collaborations in the US, Argentina, Germany, Canada, France, Spain, Italy and Japan. In July 2019 he will be continuing the extremely successful “Flauti al Castello”, a week long flute class in the heart of Tuscany, joined again this year by flutist Mark Sparks and will again be on faculty of the Zodiac Festival in France, both events now in their seventh season.

In 2011 Pallottelli relocated to Houston, Texas. The new home has him teaching a private studio of advanced flutists, playing with the leading music organizations in the area, as well as pursuing a busy performing and teaching activity away from home. Prior to the move to Houston he lived in Connecticut, where he was adjunct flute faculty at University of Bridgeport as well as at the prestigious Taft School. He joins the Faculty of Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston, beginning in the Fall of 2017.

Pallottelli was born in New York City, of an Italian father, a journalist and photographer, and a German mother, a painter and textile designer, who raised him in Italy from an early age. Growing up in rural Tuscany, he lived the simple life, but was exposed to art and music for as long as he can remember. The house was always full of friends from all parts of the world, artists, singers, musicians and scientists. The languages spoken on a daily basis were Italian, English and German. Pallottelli later also became fluent in Spanish, as a result of his frequent travels to South and Central America. At high-school age he moved to Siena, to pursue more serious musical studies at the Conservatory. After high school he moved to Milan and entered the Conservatory, graduating shortly after.  He has lived in Milan, Monterchi, Siena, Salt Lake City, New Haven and Houston. Thanks to his travels and many close friendships both within and outside the music world, there are many places he calls home, in Europe, Latin America and North America.

Pallottelli holds performance degrees from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Music in Milan, Italy, University of Utah and Yale School of Music. He spent several summers working intensely with French flute legend Maxence Larrieu, who taught with great discipline, style and verve, to make a significant impression on Pallottelli’s playing and musicianship.

bill-braunPianist William Braun holds a doctorate in piano performance from Yale University and is known as a gifted collaborator, soloist, and writer. He made his New York debut in concert with Dawn Upshaw, has appeared with Michael Tilson Thomas’s New World Symphony in Miami, and served as principal keyboard player for the New Haven Symphony for 25 years. Opera News has published over 200 of his essays, including interviews with Birgit Nilsson, Cecilia Bartoli, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt; his musical-dramatic analyses of such operas as Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, Verdi’s Don Carlos and Macbeth, and Messiaen’s St. François d’Assise; and his cover profiles on Peter Sellars, Dawn Upshaw, and John Adams, among others. In 2006 the Salzburg Festival invited Mr. Braun to contribute the keynote essay for their new production of Mozart’s Die Entfûhrung aus dem Serail. Having performed extensively with Sergio Pallottelli since they first met in New Haven a decade ago, he is thoroughly familiar with the flute repertoire…and says that he loves it!