Michel Dalberto first came to prominence when, between 1975 and 1978, he won the 1st Mozart Competition in Salzburg, the Clara Haskil Prize in Vevey (Switzerland) and 1st Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition (whose previous winners include Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia or Andras Schiff).
Born in Paris in 1955 into a non-musical family whose roots come from French Dauphiné and Italian Piemonte, he began the piano at the age of three and a half and gave his first concert at five and a half. When he was twelve, he was introduced to Vlado Perlemuter, a favourite pupil of the late Alfred Cortot, and entered his class at the Paris Conservatoire where he completed his studies during nine years. Another influent teacher was Jean Hubeau in the chamber music field.
He has since performed under the baton of some of the most distinguished conductors including Sawallish, Colin Davis, Temirkanov, Masur, Gatti or Gardiner and has been guest of festivals such as Lucerne, Florence, Aix-en-Provence, Vienna, Edinburgh, Schleswig-Holstein, Newport, Miami, Seattle as well as regular visits to Japan, Korea and China.
From the beginning of his career, Michel Dalberto has been acknowledged as one of the foremost interpreter of Schubert and Mozart music. He is the only living pianist to have recorded the complete piano works by Schubert. Liszt, Debussy, Fauré, Schumann and Ravel are also among his favorite musicians.
He is currently embarked with the French label Aparté in an important project of several recordings of French repertoire including Debussy, Ravel, Franck and Fauré. Every program shall be recorded “live” on different pianos (Steinway, Fazioli, Bechstein..) in order to give a sound identity to each composer. The Debussy program was just recorded and filmed in Mantova’s Teatro Bibiena.
An outstanding chamber musician since the beginning, he played the Beethoven Violin Sonatas with the late Henryk Szeryng and two-pianos recitals with the late Nikita Magaloff with whom he enjoyed a close friendship. He also appeared in Trio with Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Lynn Harrell or with Renaud and Gautier Capuçon. Among his partners were Vadim Repin, Julian Rachlin, Nikolaj Znaider, Renaud Capuçon, Yuri Bashmet, Truls Mørk, Henri Demarquette, Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Modigliani and Ebène Quartets as well as sopranos Barbara Hendricks, Jessye Norman, Ildiko Raimondi and baritones Stephan Genz and Edwin Crossley-Mercer.
For many years he enjoyed conducting orchestras and has already been invited to numerous fine ensembles including Shenzhen, Macau, Tokyo Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philh. Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Budapest Radio Orch. and others.
Keeping close ties with the Clara Haskil competition, he was member then Chairman of the Jury between 1987 and 2009 and is now a member of the organization committee.
Since September 2011, he has been appointed Professor at the Paris Conservatoire with a class of eight students. Before that, he was regularly invited for masterclasses at Imola Accademia Pianistica, Hannover Hochschule, Manchester Royal College, Seoul University, Tel Hai International Piano Academy or Tokyo Toho University.
A keen amateur of gastronomy, member of prestigious gastronomic clubs in Paris and Geneva, he enjoys skiing in Switzerland where he lives, is an expert scuba-diver and a devoted fan of Formula 1.
In 1996, he was awarded Knight of the “Ordre National du Mérite” by the French government.