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 ( with Martha Argerich ) in 1957 as well as the special prize awarded to the most accomplished laureate of all disciplines on the programme that year ; an extraordinary year indeed where Martha Argerich ( who was awarded the ladies 1st prize ), Maurizio Pollini and Dominique Merlet were all finalists.
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, China, Australia and Japan and took part in many important festivals such as Paris, Berlin, Bordeaux, Hong Kong, Besançon, La Roque d' Anthéron and Duszniki . He has worked with notable conductors such as Charles Münch, Paul Paray, Armin Jordan, Moshe Atzmon, Richard Hickox, Sergiu Comissiona , Yutaka Sado, Christian Mandeal .
His recordings include Schumann, Weber, Brahms, Bartok, Liszt, Satie, Ravel (complete works) Chopin, Debussy, Fauré, Roger-Ducasse, Kirchner and they have won many distinctions such as "Grand Prix du Disque" and "Diapason d'Or". He enjoys sharing performances with his friends ( quartet or quintet ) and has recorded Beethoven's complete Sonatas for piano and violin with Gérard Poulet .
In parallel to being a concert pianist, Dominique Merlet has participated intensely in producing great pianists of tomorrow, 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 ( he is regularly invited by the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School ), Germany, Austria, the Scandinavian countries, South Korea, Japan, Australia and China . In 1992, the Geneva Conservatory entrusts him with the famous "Classe de virtuosité" created by Liszt which is reserved for a selection of pianists who are preparing for a solo career. He decides to cease this activity in 2004 in order to fully concentrate on his concert performances .
Dominique Merlet frequently participates at international piano juries (Warsaw, Leeds, Vienna, Dublin, Tokyo, München, Cleveland, Shanghai and others ) and he is an Honorary President of EPTA as well as President of the Nadia and Lili Boulanger International Foundation. His impressive accomplishments have been rewarded by the French Ministry of Culture with the tittle of Officier des Arts et des Lettres.