Simone Fontanelli | © Giancarlo Rado
Head of Institute

Simone Fontanelli

Senior Lecturer for New MusicDepartment String StudiesInstitute for New Music

Since winning the prestigious VI. Salzburg International Mozart Composition Competition in 1995, Simone Fontanelli has been considered as one of the most authentic contemporary musical personalities. Since 2000 he has been on the faculty of the Mozarteum University in Salzburg where he teaches Contemporary Music Performance (Aufführungspraxis Neue Musik) and, currently, is the Director of the Institut für Neue Musik.

As composer and conductor, he has been invited to many international Festivals in Italy, Austria, England, Spain, Hungary, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Kazachistan, Israel, Taiwan, Thailand, USA and other countries. He has always received the highest praise for his works: "I treasure his talent very highly…" (György Kurtág), “Fontanelli's music is poetically beautiful, touching” (Muzsika, Hungarian Music Magazine) and his interpretations as a conductor: “It is rare that one's music is prepared with such sensitivity and insight, combined with such superb technical skill” (George Crumb). Fontanelli has received commissions from several international institutions, festivals and artists and his compositions are performed worldwide.

In 2011 his children opera Es war einmal ein Stück Holz (“Once Upon A Time There was A piece Of Wood”) after C. Collodi’s Pinocchio, commissioned by the Cologne Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, was a great success and all performances were sold out. Since then, this opera has been staged several times in Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Austria, in the relative translations. A CD production of it has been released in UK in 2019.

From 2003 to 2009 Mr. Fontanelli was the Director of the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music (Brunswick, ME - USA) and a member of the distinguished faculty/artist roster of the prestigious Bowdoin Summer Music Festival in Brunswick.

He has been invited to give masterclasses and lectures in Contemporary Music Performance, Music Analysis and Composition at many important universities in Europe, Asia and USA, including the Juilliard School in New York, the Lamont School in Denver, the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, the Budapest Liszt Academy, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and many others. Since 2023 he has been on the faculty of the Accademia Chigiana in Siena.

Mr. Fontanelli was born in 1961 in Milan. He studied guitar with Notis Mavroudis and graduated in Composition from the Conservatorio of Milano in 1989, pupil of Davide Anzaghi and Umberto Rotondi. He also studied Philosophy at the University of Milan.