Michel Dalberto first came to prominence winning the Clara Haskil Prize in 1975. Three years later he won 1st Prize in the Leeds International Piano Competition, previously awarded to such pianists as Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia.
Dalberto was born in Paris into a non-musical family which take roots in Dauphiné and Italian Piemonte. He began the piano at the age of three 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 in 1968 where he completed his studies during nine years. Another influential figure in his musical development was the late Nikita Magaloff, with whom he has performed and recorded.
From the beginning of his career, Michel Dalberto has been acknowledged as one of the foremost interprets of Schubert and Mozart. Liszt, Debussy, Fauré, Schumann and Ravel are also among his favourite composers.
Dalberto’s first recording — 2 piano sonatas by Schubert — was awarded the Grand Prize of the Academy Charles Cros. He has recorded the complete piano works by Schubert (14 CDs on Denon). Among other publications, he did the Grieg Concerto and Strauss Burlesque with the London Philharmonia and Jean-Bernard Pommier, a “live” recording of the Schumann Concerto at the Vienna Festival with the Wiener Symphoniker and Eliahu Inbal, songs by Chausson with Jessye Norman and two recitals with Barbara Hendricks. Since 1997, he has recorded for the Sony/BMG label the 1st Book of Preludes and Images by Debussy and Mozart Concerti n°20 and 22 with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and John Nelson. In June 2004 BMG released a programme of Paraphrases by Liszt on Verdi and Wagner’s operas which received a warm reception from both critics (Gramophone, Classic FM, Diapason etc..) and the public.
From 1990 until 2005, Michel Dalberto was Artistic Adviser of Les Arcs Academy-Festival in Savoy. Since 1991, he has been serving as Chairman of the Jury of the Clara Haskil Competition, which takes place in Vevey (Switzerland) every two years. He also coaches a selected number of students at Imola’s Accademia Pianistica. A keen sportsman, he regularly skies in Savoy and Switzerland, and frequently scuba-dives.
Michel Dalberto was awarded the Knight of the Ordre National du Mérite by the French Government in 1996.
In Japan his fame is well known; his playing of the 21th sonata of Schubert is often heard on NHK-TV.