The French pianist, Michel (Jean Jacques) D'Alberto [Dalberto] was born into non-musical family, but he began playing the piano before his 4th birthday. At age 12 he was studying with Vlado Perlemuter at the Paris Conservatory. Later teachers included Nikita Magaloff, Raymond Trourard and Jean Hubeau. In 1975 he won the Clara Haskil Competition and the Salzburg Mozart Competion, and in 1978 he captured the ist prize at the Leeds Competition, where he played a Mozart concerto in the final round, the only first-prize winner ever to do so.
After making his formal debut as soloist with Erich Leinsdoef and the Orchestre de Paris in 1980, Michel D'Alberto soon debuted in major European cities, including Paris, Montreal, Amsterdam, Vienna, Frankfurt, and Rome. His first recordings were also making a splash: on the Erato label discs of L.v. Beethoven sonatas (1980), Mozart concertos (1981), and Chausson songs with Jessye Norman (1983), appeared to generally favourable critical response.
Michel D'Alberto pursued a global career as a soloist with orchestras, recitalist and chamber music player. From 1988 to 1995 he recorded all the piano music of Schubert, one of the few pianists to have taken on this challenge. This 14-CD set for the Denon label is perhaps his greatest accomplishment to date. In 1991 he began serving as chairman of the jury at the Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey, Switzerland. He signed a contract with BMG in 1997 and his first recording for the label, Debussy's Images and Preludes (Book I) - released on RCA, achieved wide critical acclaim. In the 21st century he remained busy on the concert and recording scenes. His 2005-2006 concert schedule was brimming with engagements throughout Italy, France, England, Russia, and the USA, including many appearances with major orchestras. His recordings include a 2004 RCA release of Franz Liszt paraphrases on operatic sources from Wagner and Verdi.
Michel D'Alberto has rightly achieved a reputation as one of the leading French pianists of his generation, despite a reserved style and penchant for less flashy repertory. In fact, he is known for his Mozart and Schubert, and while he plays Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann, Debussy, Ravel, and other composers associated with more challenging works, he has generally avoided the virtuosic side of their music. D'Alberto has also appeared in concert and on recordings as accompanist to singers like Jessye Norman and Barbara Hendricks, and as a collaborator in various chamber works, especially for violin and piano. He has made numerous recordings for a variety of major labels over the years, including Denon, EMI, BMG/RCA, Harmonia Mundi, and Erato.