XXIV International Brass Festival Italian Brass Week

Ryunosuke “Pepe” Abe
Zachary Bond “Masterclass Canceled”
Zoltan Kiss
Lito Fontana
23-28 July 2023
Type of lesson

Italian Brass Week 2023


Florence July 23-28


Brass musicians, coming from all over the world, meet again in Florence and Arezzo, in Italy, to place themselves under the wings of great virtuosos, international soloists and members of the great orchestras of the world, their Masters.

All participants will be able to give breath to their instruments, breath to their vocation, music to the public.


During the Italian Brass Week there will also be the time  for new brass bands, listen solo recitals, and be part of world premieres, happenings, concerts of the Italian Brass Week Ensemble - the always original, unrepeatable and festive international formation directed for the occasion by Luca Benucci and Lito Fontana where students will be involved in multiple concerts throughout the week.


The didactic activities will take place in an exceptional location: the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, with soundproofed classrooms, air conditioning, in an environment dedicated to making music of the highest quality.


The concerts will be in enchanting locations in Florence which will leave even the general public breathless and will be announced after the press conference.


The Italian Brass Week has the breath and protection of amateurs and professionals of the arts, producers and ambassadors of Tuscany and patrons and sponsors also for scholarships aimed at young students.


For this XXIV edition, the following activities will be guaranteed to all members of the Festival included in the membership-registration fee which must be paid at the time of your online Application which has the deadline of July 10, 2023 until all available places for each class.


The participation fee can be paid in different ways:

By bank transfer, with PayPal transfer, please see APPLICATION on site.


All active members will be guaranteed the following activities and insurance:


RC insurance for all participants (does not include theft and damage to property tools and personal effects);


Student Secretariat active for every need - available every day for further information on hotels, restaurants and everything you need to feel good in Florence.


The tutors of the students will be your contact persons for any doubts and needs during the festival. On the first day they will let you discover the beauty and grandeur of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino theatre, they will also indicate the protocol to be observed inside the theater and they will show you the different classrooms where you will teach;


General program


* 08.15 Breathing Technique - Blow & Buzz Technique

* 09.00 -13.00 Individual lessons with the teachers of your class

* Lunch break (you will have an agreement for the restaurant)

* 15.00 Individual lessons with the teachers of your class

* 16.30 Ensemble music lessons for Brass Ensemble and Brass Band

* 19.15 end of activity in the Theater

* Dinner break (affiliated restaurants will be indicated near the concert location)

* 21.30 Evening concerts in various locations


"ACTIVE" students will be guaranteed the following activities:

23 July

8.00 - 11.00 participation payment and collection of the identification badge

a priority desk will be guaranteed for the participants in the Prize and as soon as they have regularized their participation they will be accompanied to the rooms to warm up.

10.00 WINGS TO TALENT international award for the assignment of 5 scholarships offered by A.N.B.I.M.A.

13.00 lunch break

3.00 pm orientation inside the theater with the Tutors

4.30 pm reading rehearsals for the festival concerts

19.15 end of activity in the theater.

the following activities will be guaranteed:

2 lessons of 30 minutes with each teacher that can be fixed using an app that will be sent to you once the registration has been regularized

From 24 to 28 July every day from 8.15 the Breathing Gym.

From 24 to 28 July chamber music lessons are scheduled every day for which you will be selected for your ensemble with which you will go to perform concerts in Florence.

From 24 to 28 individual lessons with the instructors are guaranteed at the following times: 9.00-13.00/15.00-16.30


Many concerts will be held during the festival, including a happening where you will be the protagonists and many other concert initiatives that will allow you to give voice to your art and have fun together with young people from all over the world.


Free admission to the evening concerts where the artists of the Italian Brass Week will perform with the exception of the concerts of 25 and 26 July.


"LISTENER" students will be guaranteed the following activities:

23 July

8.00 - 11.00 participation payment and collection of the identification badge

10.00 WINGS TO TALENT international award for the assignment of 5 scholarships (YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE COMPETITION)

3.00 pm orientation inside the theater with the Tutors

4.30 pm reading rehearsals for the festival concerts

19.15 end of activity in the theater.

From 24 to 28 July every day from 8.15 the Breathing Gym.
From 24 to 28 July you will be able to listen to the lessons of all the teachers engaged in their individual lessons.
From July 24th to 28th chamber music lessons are scheduled every day in which you can participate by playing to subsequently perform the concerts in Florence .

As soon as you have completed your online registration, you will receive a complete scheduleand personal asistent for the activities, timetables and anything else you may need for your stay in Florence.

  Membership fees are refundable until June 15, 2023.

For further clarifications, do not hesitate to write to Emilia Galli, segreteria@italianbrass.com who will be able to respond to all your needs.

Max members
200 euro membership fee plus 300 euro complete campus "active student", or 200 euro membership + 100 for Listener students
Horn Campus
Trumpet Campus
Trombone Campus
Tuba Campus
Euphonium Campus

Ryunosuke “Pepe” Abe

23-28 July 2023 Maestro Abe will replace Zachary Bond following his cancellation for personal reasons.

Trombone Teqcher

Euphonium and Trombone soloist and international teacher

Like many Japanese brass players, Pepe started playing the Euphonium at the age of 13 when he was in high school in Ehime, Japan.
Luckily, he was in the school which has a good tradition of playing music and the school wind band is very good with a good teacher.
He continued to play the euphonium in high school and when he was 18, he also started playing the trombone.
In 1995 he attended the I.T.E.C (International Tuba Euphonium Conference) in the United States and won the 2nd prize in the young artists division of the solo competition.
He went to France to participate in international competitions in 1997. At that time, he was very moved and shocked by great performances performed by great musicians from Europe.
This is the great point of his life.
He traveled to Perpignan / France to study with Mr. Mel Culbertson (former principal tuba of Orchester National de Bordeaux Aquitaine / former professor of CNSMD de Lyon) in 1998. He changed a lot of things (music playing style and life) because he was very much influenced by Mr. Mel Culbertson (Mel gave him his nickname "Pepe").
He received 3 gold medals for Euphonium, Trombone and chamber music from the CNR de Perpignan in 1999. A few years later, he became an assistant professor at the CNR de Perpignan and gave lessons with Mr. Mel Culbertson.
In 2003, he moved to Leipzig/ Germany and played in Rundfunk-Blasorchester Leipzig (Leipzig Radio Wind Orchestra) as principal Tenorhorn (euphonium) and the following year, he moved to Nyiregyhaza/ Hangary and played in Szabolcsi Szimfonikus Zenekar (Szabolcsi Symphony Orchestra ) as Principal Trombone.
He was invited to the I.T.E.C (International Tuba Euphonium Conference) in Budapest / Hungary in 2004 as a guest artist and gave a solo recital. He was invited to the I.T.E.C. from Linz/Austria in 2012 again as a guest artist and performed "Pantomime by P.Sparke" with the wind band.
He took part in several international competitions and got some prizes like 3rd prize in Euphonium division and 2nd prize (there was no 1st prize) in Trombone division at 1st International Brass Competition in Jeju (South Korea ) in 2000.
He gave master classes and concerts in Japan and other European countries such as France and Spain.
In 2005 he moved to Japan and continued to perform solo and teaching activities.
He has been musical director of the Brass Band "Camellia" since 2008.
He performed P.Sparke's Euphonium Concerto No.3 "Diamond Concerto" with Ehime University Band as Japan Premiere in 2012.
He invited to the AETYB (Spanish Euphonium and Tuba Association) Festival in Barcelona as a guest artist in 2014 and gave master-class and solo recitals.
He performed J.de Meij's TWO-BONE Concerto as a soloist with another soloist Jörgen van Rijen as a Japan Premiere with the Kyushu Wind Orchestra under the direction of his composer J.de Meij in Fukuoka in 2018.
He founded his own publishing house "Music. A. Pepe" and publishes his arrangements, compositions and CDs such as his solo Euphonium CD "Carmen Fantasy"(2005) and Double CD with Trombone and Euphonium "BOLD AS BRASS"(2012) .
He has been performing on the ADAMS Custom E1 Euphonium since 2012 and holds concerts and master-classes as an ADAMS Euphonium Artist.
He has been principal trombone of the Osaka Symphony Orchestra since 2015. Euphonium and trombone professor at the ESA Music Academy.

Zachary Bond “Masterclass Canceled”

23-28 July 2023 For personal reasons Maestro Bond had to cancel his presence with our festival. In his place, Ryunosuke Abe, Principal Trombone of the Osaka Philharmonic and Antonio Sicoli, Trombonist of the Rome Opera and professor of the Fiesole School of Music will teach.

Bass Trombione Soloist and Professor

Zachary Bond 

A native Texan, Zachary Bond was accepted to Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music when he was 16 years old. Zachary's teachers include Jon Bohls, Keith Meek, Blair Bollinger, Scott Hartman, Mark Lawrence, John Rojak, and Steve Norrell. After receiving his Bachelor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute in 2003, Zachary went on to attend Yale University on a full scholarship the following year. 

Zachary has performed with some of the world’s leading ensembles (The Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Canadian Brass, San Diego Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Philadelphia Opera, Philadelphia Ballet, Malaysia Philharmonic, Macau Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic, and the Singapore Symphony), Zachary has also participated in a myriad of summer music festivals: National Repertory Orchestra, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, Verbier Festival, Spoleto USA, and Pierre Boulez’s Lucerne Festival.

As a soloist, Zachary was the first prize winner of both the 2003 Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone Competition in Helsinki, Finland and the 2006 Edward Kleinhammer Orchestral Bass Trombone Competition in Birmingham, England. 

Zachary is a regular adjudicator for the International Trombone Association Competitions preliminary and final rounds and has also been on the Jury of the Jeju International Bass Trombone Competition in Jeju, Korea.

A passionate educator, Zachary has been a regular guest lecturer and performer globally. Zachary has been in residence at the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, as well as numerous venues in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Mexico. Zachary was invited as a guest artist at the 2010 International Trombone Festival in Austin, Texas and was invited once again to the 2013 International Trombone Festival in Columbus, Georgia. In 2016, Zachary premiered Sheridan Seyfried's Concerto for bass trombone and orchestra with the US Army Orchestra in Washington D.C. conducted by Colonel Timothy Holtan.

Zachary performed on four newly released albums. The Canadian Brass’s “Echo, The Glory of Gabrieli”, the Houston Symphony’s DVD collaboration with NASA celebrating the advent of High Definition Hubble Telescope images set the music of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” suite, culminating in a live performance on tour to New York’s 

Carnegie Hall and Dvorak’s 7th and 8th Symphonies with the Malaysian Philharmonic and Claus Peter Flor. Zachary performed in China with the Canadian Brass on Hunan Tv’s Chinese New Year show for over half a billion viewers. 

Zachary is a former member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was also on the faculty of the National University of Singapore's Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music teaching tenor and bass trombone and the brass specialist at the Australian International School in Singapore.  Zachary is the Artistic Director of the Thailand International Trombone festival in Bangkok, Thailand, the Co-Founder of the Austin Summer Brass Academy in Austin, Texas, a founding member of the Festival of Trombones in Coppell, Texas, and the Artistic Director of the Singapore International Low Brass Academy. Zachary resides in Hong Kong and is currently the Lecturer of Brass and Concert Band conductor at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Zachary performs on his own model "Bond Universal" Bass Trombone by Thein Brass Instruments of Bremen, Germany and his own signature Mouthpiece "Bond007" by Willie's Mouthpieces of Yamanashi, Japan.

Zoltan Kiss

23-28 July 2023

International Soloist

Born in Budapest (Hungary) in 1980, Zoltán was largely self-taught, developing his technique through being inspired by leading trumpet players.

He attended the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, winning a handful of national competitions both as a soloist and with chamber ensembles.

Zoltán was invited to audition for the Austrian brass septet Mnozil Brass in 2005, for which he now tours the world performing in over 100 concerts per year.

He has released three albums to date including Slideshow (2010), Rebelión (2011), and Non-Stop (2014).

In 2014, Zoltán was appointed as International Trombone Tutor for the The Philip Jones Centre for Brass (Royal Northern College of Music) in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Zoltán plays exclusively on his signature trombones, Kissbone and KissboneX, designed in collaboration with Austrian maker, Schagerl. 

His self-designed Zoltán Kiss edition mouthpiece is produced by Latsch Custom Brass in Germany.  

Whenever time permits, Zoltán engages himself as a guest soloist, educator, or adjudicator.

Lito Fontana

23-28 July 2023

Tenor Trombone

Lito Fontana has become one of Europe’s finest trombone players in the Brass world in the last few years .His ability to combine a perfect technique and special fine sound with an extraordinary interpretation is appreciated by the audience as well as by his colleagues.

"Lito has a real great sound. I enjoyed doing the solos and the show with him! “(Allen Vizzutti, trumpet) 

"He is one of my favorite soloists of all times!” (Johan de Meij, composer) 

Born in Argentina Lito was classical trained at the prestigious Conservatoire “Rossini” in Persaro, Italy. In young years he gathered experience performing as principal trombone in classic orchestras as well as in collaboration with musicians as Chet Baker and Billy Cobham. Moving to Austria he joined Juvavum Brass and performed together with James Morrison, Allen Vizzutti, Gabor Tarkövi, Hans Gansch , Roland Szentpali and many others.

Lito has participated with various ensembles in several festivals such as “Tiroler Festspiele”, “Klangspuren Schwaz”, "Sauerländer Herbst" , "Schagerl Brass Festival" and many others and has also been very successful with solo concerts at festivals such as the Spanish Brass Festival in Valencia, MIDEUROPE in Austria and the Music Festival in Budapest. He has performed with the Symphonic Wind Orchestra of Merano and has a close working relationship with internationally renowned musicians such as Vince DeMartino, Frank Pulcini, Ab Koster, Spanish Brass, Oystein Baadsvik, Steven Mead, Patrick Sheridan, Leonard Candelaria, James Watson , T. Doshizer , Johan de Meij, Jose Pascal Vilaplana. 

As soloist of Brass Band Oberösterreich he performed all over Europe as well as guest soloist with European Brass and Wind Bands and got two nominations in the Brassband of the Year 2008 and 2010. “… you hear players like this who can stun you speechless. On the contest stage he was brilliant, on CD, awesome, and on the concert platform he was on a different planet. Boy, can the man play.“ Iwan Fox, 4barsrest

His solo recording “When I walk alone” with Fausto Quintabà on the piano was nominated among the 5 finest new released CDs 2011 by 4barsrest: “ It is hard to think of any superlatives that can do justice to this man's playing. His ability to play in any style with a flexibility of musicianship that borders on the staggering is something else. “4barsrest.

With great enthusiasm he is supporting the evolution of the Brass Band movement in Italy encouraging conductors and friends to form new bands. In 2015 he was elected president of the Italian Brass Band Association (A.I.B.B.).

His new recording “A mi manera” with Brassband Fribourg and conducted by fabulous Robert Childs at its reales at the beginning of June 2014 received immediately a lot of compliments and stunning critics.

He is well regarded as an adjudicator for various national and international competitions and in constant demand as soloist and clinician throughout the world.

Beside this he is educator at the Musikschule Hall and former professor at the Conservatory C. Monteverdi of Bolzano and the Conservatory of Perugia(I). His students are well prepared and among the winners of National competitions as well as well regarded in various orchestras among Europe.

He is internationally endorsed by Schagerl Instruments and plays on new Schagerl trombone “Fontana”.