Born in Paris in 1955 into a family with origins in the Dauphiné and the Italian Piedmont, Michel Dalberto began playing the piano at the age of three. He played in public for the first time at the age of five and a half, and at the early age of thirteen joined Vlado Perlemuter's class at the Paris Conservatoire.
At the age of twenty, he won the 1st Mozart Competition in Salzburg and was unanimously awarded the Clara Haskil Prize. In 1978 he was awarded the 1st Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition. Other accolades include the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles-Cros, the Prix de l'Académie du Disque Français, the Diapason d’Or, and the Echo Prize in Germany.
He has been invited to play in most of the European musical centers, with some of the most prestigious conductors. Additionally, Dalberto has been invited to play at the festivals of Lucerne, Florence, Aix-en-Provence, Vienna, Edinburgh, Schleswig-Holstein, Grange de Meslay, La Roque d'Anthéron, Newport, Miami, and Seattle.
Since the beginning of his career, Michel Dalberto has been recognized as one of the leading interpreters of Schubert and Mozart. His other favorite composers include Liszt, Schumann, Brahms and all the great French composers. Moreover, he is the only living pianist to have performed and recorded the complete piano works of Schubert. Recent recordings include the complete chamber music of Fauré with Renaud Capuçon and the Quatuor Ebène (winner of the German Echo Prize), the Schubert cycles 'Winter Journey' and 'Swan Song' with baritone Stephan Genz.
In October 2018, Warner-Erato released a 17-CD boxed set entitled "The Making of a Musician", which consists of all of his recording activity for Erato, EMI and Virgin, including his recordings with Barbara Hendricks and Jessye Norman.
Between 2015 and 2019, he has made four live recordings of Debussy, Ravel, Franck, and Fauré for the Aparté label, all of which have been enthusiastically received by the public.
His first recording for the La Dolce Volta label, made in 2019, is devoted to five of Beethoven's best-known sonatas, and has earned him the title of Artist of the Year 2019 by Classica magazine. His next recordings will be devoted to Franz Liszt (Sonata in B minor, Vallée d’Oberman…) and a clarinet & piano program with his friend Michel Portal.
What’s more, Michel Dalberto is a celebrated chamber musician who has played with the world’s greatest instrumentalists. In the vocal field, he has collaborated with no less than Barbara Hendricks, Jessye Norman, Sophie Koch, Nathalie Stutzman and Edwin Crossley-Mercer.
Parallel to his career as a musician, Dalberto has conducted orchestras in Asia and Europe. In addition, he was the Artistic Director of the Académie-Festival des Arcs (Savoie) from 1991 to 2004 and the President of the Jury of the Clara Haskil Competition from 1991 to 2009. Currently, he is a member of its organizing committee. In honor of this competition, Dalberto founded the Clara Haskil Academy, which takes place near Veyvey, Switzerland where a select few students work with him.
He was appointed Professor at the Paris Conservatoire in September 2011 and has a regular relationship with the Tianjin Conservatory. He has previously been invited to give masterclasses at the Accademia Pianistica in Imola, the Hochschule in Hanover, the Royal College in Manchester, Seoul University, the Tel Hai International Piano Academy, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Art, Toho University in Tokyo, and the Lang Lang Piano School in Shenzhen.
In 1996, the Minister of Culture made him a Chevalier in the National Order of Merit in recognition of his artistic activity.