Listening closely to Santilli's music one can hear the Italian influence on the Ticino-born musician... remarks the Zürcher Unterländer newspaper about Marco Santilli's work.
Marco Santilli studied classical clarinet with Hansjürg Leuthold and Heinz Hofer at the Zurich Music Academy. He expanded his training and consolidated his skills in instrumentation and arranging with the study of wind orchestra conducting under Franco Cesarini. After receiving his diploma in orchestral performance and teaching, he became adjunct clarinettist for the orchestra of the Zurich Opera House. He then was selected as adjunct clarinettist for the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana. Marco earned his soloist diploma with a First Prize for Virtuosity from the Lausanne Music Academy, where he had studied clarinet under Frédéric Rapin.
Marco changed from the classical to the jazz music world, being able to keep a foot on each side. He took lessons with George Robert, participated in various Jazz workshops with Gary Burton/Makoto Ozone, Oliver Ker Ourio, George Gruntz and Ken Peplowski (NY). He has also taken part in Berklee at Umbria Jazz.
He played chamber music and concerts with the Zurich Opera Orchestra, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Winterthur Musikkollegium, the Schweizer Philharmonie, Collegium Musicum St. Gallen and the Soli Wind Ensemble (Italy). As jazz musician he performed at Estival Jazz Lugano, the Montreux Jazz Festival Off, Blues to Bop Lugano and in the United States with, among others, the Michael Rabinowitz quartet (Mingus Orchestra).