Simone Mancuso, percussionist and conductor specialized in contemporary music, has been internationally recognized for his interpretations of contemporary classical pieces. His prizes include the Kranichstein-Stipendienpreise from the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt in 2002 and the First Prize from the Stockhausen Stiftung für Musik in 2005, which was awarded to Mancuso directly by Karlheinz Stockhausen. In 2007, Karlheinz Stockhausen selected him as a recommended performer of his works.
His career as a percussionist has taken him throughout Japan, Russia, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. He has performed in such prestigious venues and festivals as the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Strathmore Hall, Martha Argerich Project, PASIC, among others.
As a soloist, he has appeared with the Basel Sinfonietta, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, SONUS Ensemble, and Orchestra da Camera Ungherese under the baton of Alexander Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, Johannes Kalitzke, Giorgio Bernasconi, Denise Fedeli, and Diego Fasolis.
He has collaborated with composers including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Salvatore Sciarrino, Alvin Curran, Klaus Huber, Chaya, Czernowin, Edoardo Soto-Milan, Rudolf Kelterborn, Adriana Hoelsky, Giovanni Damiani, Glenn Hackbarth and Garth Paine, among others.
In a chamber music setting, he has performed and recorded with celebrated pianists such as Martha Argerich, Gabriele Baldocci and Giorgia Tomassi. Mancuso’s critically acclaimed, internationally released recordings can be heard on Deutsche Grammophon, Stradivarius, Col Legno, Curva Minore, Suisse Grammont Portrait, and Chelandia. His solo CD La Parola al Legno features the world premiere recording of Il Legno e la Parola for solo marimba by Salvatore Sciarrino. His second solo CD is entirely dedicated to John Cage and features the world premiere recording of Variations VIII.
He is the founding member of the Swiss-based Lugano Percussion Group, the jazz/ classical crossover duo Mancuso-Suzda Project, and the Sonus Duo with renowned saxophonist Timothy McAllister. Since 2009 he has collaborated with the Phoenix-based ensemble, Crossing 32nd Street.
As a conductor, he has collaborated with soloists such as Dora Schwarzberg, Alexander Gurning, Jorge Bosso, Nora Romanoff. He recently toured with his New York based trio Ensemble-Nomade where he conducted Stravinsky Histoire du Soldat at the Martha Argerich Festivals in Japan and Switzerland. For this project Ensemble Nomade was paired with the members of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Saito Kinen Orchestra, Tokyo University (Japan) and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana.
Currently, Mancuso lives in Phoenix, U.S.A., where he is a faculty associate of percussion, director of the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, co-director of the Contemporary Percussion Ensemble and artistic director of the Contemporary Music Festival PRISMS at Arizona State University.