Born in Bordeaux, Dominique Merlet was a pupil of Roger-Ducasse, Rose Lejour, Nadia Boulanger and Louis Hiltbrand. After three first prizes at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris he became the winner of the prestigious Geneva International Competition in 1957 as well as the special prize awarded to the most accomplished laureate of all disciplines on the programme that year.
It was the start of a career that was going to develop quickly on all continents. He played in most European countries as well as the United States, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, China, Australia and Japan and took part in many important festivals such as Paris, Berlin, Bordeaux, Hong Kong, Besançon, Shanghai, Seoul Spring Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron and Duszniki. He has worked with notable conductors such as Charles Münch, Paul Paray, Jean Martinon, Armin Jordan, Moshe Atzmon, Richard Hickox, Sergiu Comissiona, Yutaka Sado, Xu Zhong, Cristian Mandeal, Ronald Zollmann and Jin Wang.
His recordings include Schumann, Weber, Brahms, Bartok, Liszt, Satie, Ravel (complete works), Chopin, Debussy, Fauré, Roger-Ducasse, Kirchner and have won him distinctions such as “Grand Prix du Disque” and “Diapason d’Or”. His CD devoted to “The Golden Age of the Piano”, recorded on his american Steinway of 1895, fascinated many great musicians and pianos lovers.
Dominique Merlet has also participated intensely in producing great young pianists, firstly from 1974 to 1992, with his class at CNSM Paris, from which emerged several international laureates who are now enjoying brilliant careers, and secondly from giving lectures and master-classes in such countries as England, Germany, Austria, the Scandinavian countries, South Korea, Japan, Australia and China. He decided to cease this activity in 2004 in order to fully concentrate on his concert performances. Nevertheless, he is Visiting Professor at the Torino Conservatory (Italy) and has for the last 5 years been teaching at the summer Academy of the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Dominique Merlet frequently participates at international piano juries and he is the President of the “Centre International Nadia and Lili Boulanger”. His impressive accomplishments have been rewarded by the French Ministry of Culture with the title of Officier des Arts et des Lettres.