Mark Sparks is an American solo flutist, orchestral artist, teacher, and writer. He was appointed Principal Flutist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2000, and has appeared as soloist with the orchestra numerous times, most recently in March 2017. He has performed with many U.S. orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Cincinnati, Houston, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Sparks maintains an active solo career, having appeared in recital and with orchestras on 5 continents. Recent and upcoming international engagements include solo concerts in Monterrey, Mexico, Beijing, Qingdao, Sydney and London.
Sparks can be heard as solo recording artist on the Summit and AAM labels, and with various orchestras on the Sony, Telarc, Nonesuch, and Decca labels. He recently released his third solo recording, "French Album.”
Mr. Sparks is a faculty member of DePaul University in Chicago, the Aspen Music Festival, and Flauti al Castello in Italy. He has frequently coached at the world’s top orchestral training programs such as the New World Symphony, National Youth Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and the Pacific Music Festival. As clinician, he is a frequent guest at major U.S. music schools and flute courses. 2018-19 residencies include the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the Houston Flute Club annual festival, Aspen Music Festival, Flauti al Castello, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Oberlin.
Sparks is a Contributing Editor of Flute Talk Magazine, and has also recently published several flute and piano arrangements with Theodore Presser. His books, Exploring Sound: Tone Development Through Orchestral Repertoire and Orchestral Excerpt Practice Books are due for release in 2019. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with Robert Willoughby.