Flutist Mark Sparks Featured in March 30 Sundays at Three Concert


sparks_003CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 17, 2014 – Acclaimed flutist Mark Sparks will spearhead the sixth and final Sundays at Three series for 2013-2014 on March 30 at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

The concert is scheduled for 3 p.m. in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall.

Sparks will perform on flute with Peter Henderson on piano.

The duo will perform classical pieces “Romance,” “Reverie and Petite Valse,” “Berceuse,” “Piece romantique,” “D’un matin de printemps.” After the intermission, they will continue with selections from “Joueurs de flute” and “Romanze.” The performance will conclude with selections from “Sonata No. 1 in F minor.” The selections will include “Allegro appassionato, “Andante un poco adagio” and “Allegretto grazioso and Vivace.”

 Mark Sparks, flute

Mark Sparks is solo flutist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Recognized for his colorful tone, spirited phrasing and charismatic style, described by the Denver Post as “mesmerizing,” he is a dynamic orchestral artist, soloist, chamber musician and teacher. He has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues. He has made guest appearances with numerous top ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, and was a member of the Baltimore Symphony under David Zinman.

He can be heard as solo recording artist on the Summit label, with various orchestras on Sony, Telarc, Nonesuch and Decca, and has recently released his second solo album with AAM Records. A third solo CD will be released next year. Upcoming activities this fall include recitals in St. Louis, and an appearance with the Singapore Symphony performing the Rouse Flute Concerto.

A dedicated teacher, he has presented master classes in South America, Japan and Norway, and for numerous U.S. institutions, including the Manhattan School of Music, Yale and the New World Symphony. Sparks is a former full-time faculty member of Baltimore’s Peabody Institute, and presents an annual flute seminar at Innsbrook Institute in Missouri. Sparks is also an artist-faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he is co-principal flutist of the Aspen Festival Orchestra and Chamber Symphony.

Sparks appears with distinguished colleagues in the book “Flute Stories: 101 Stories of the World’s Best Flute Players.”

Born in the United States in 1960, 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. As a student, he also trained at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Aspen and the National Repertory Orchestra.

 Peter Henderson, piano

A versatile pianist, Peter Henderson is active as a performer in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Henderson is currently associate professor of music and artist in residence at Maryville University, where he has served on the faculty since fall 2005. He performs frequently as an ensemble keyboardist with the St. Louis Symphony and made his debut as a subscription-concert soloist with that orchestra in January 2008.

Over the past several seasons, he has often given pre-concert lectures from the St. Louis Symphony’s Powell Hall stage. He has been an orchestral and chamber keyboardist with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since its 2004 season, and has coached chamber music ensembles at the week-long SoCal Chamber Music Workshop for several summers since 2001.

In 2003, he was a winner of the Saint Louis-based Artist Presentation Society’s auditions. Henderson is an advocate of new music, having given several premieres of solo piano and chamber works. In recent years, he has played solo recitals focused upon works of a single composer: during the 2011-2012 season, he performed the 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven; in November and December 2012, he presented the complete piano works of Debussy; and in November 2013, he played Chopin’s 27 Études in a single concert.

He holds a Doctor of Music from Indiana University-Bloomington, having studied piano there with Karen Shaw, and before attending Indiana University, Henderson studied piano at the University of Idaho-Moscow with Jay Mauchley. He and his wife Kristin Ahlstrom live in St. Louis.


Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651–2265. Tickets may also be purchased online atwww.RiverCampusEvents.com.