Pianist Emanuele Arciuli focuses, to a degree unusual for a European artist, on contemporary American music. Beyond that, he has a large repertory that has emphasized music by Bach and Liszt, and he is a significant educator.
Arciuli was born in Galatone in Italy's southern Apulia region on June 26, 1965. He attended the Conservatory of Bari (the Niccolò Piccinni Conservatory) and then went on for further studies and master classes with a variety of prestigious pianists that included Leon Fleisher, György Sándor, and Maurizio Pollini. Arciuli gave recitals in leading Italian halls, including the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa. He was signed to the Stradivarius label and released his debut album, a recording of Busoni's Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 20a, in 1994, following that up with a release devoted to the "Italie" volume of Liszt's Années de Pèlerinage.
A key event shaping the direction of Arciuli's career was his American debut at the University of Cincinnati's Festival Ninety-Eight in 1998. After that, Arciuli turned increasingly often to contemporary American music, often collaborating with the most varied American composers, including Frederic Rzewski, Milton Babbitt, and Michael Daugherty. He also performs music of the Second Viennese School and other contemporary European works. In 2000, he issued the album Americans!: 20th Century Piano Music of American Composers, and in 2002, he premiered the Round Midnight Variations, a work comprising variations by various composers on a theme by jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, at Columbia University in New York. In 2005, he moved to the Bridge label for a recording of George Crumb's Eine kleine Mitternachtmusik; that album earned a Grammy Award nomination. Arciuli has continued to appear frequently in the U.S. in between teaching responsibilities at his alma mater, the Conservatory of Bari. With the Indianapolis Symphony, he premiered the Indiana Concerto of Louis Ballard, thought to be the only piano concerto written by a Native American composer. Arciuli is a frequent guest at festivals, including the Berliner Festwochen, Biennale di Venezia, and Miami Piano Festival. He has published two books in Italian on modern American music. Arciuli has continued to record for such labels as Wergo and Innova, releasing the solo album Walk in Beauty on the latter in 2017. In 2021, he moved to Naxos for the album Arthur Farwell: America's Neglected Composer.