Donna Amato was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she also received her earliest musical training. Since her orchestral début at the age of fourteen and her early studies with virtuoso pianist Ozan Marsh, she has received many honours and awards. After graduating from college she travelled to Europe to study with Louis Kentner in London, Gaby Casadesus in Paris and Guido Agosti in Italy; she also studied in Mexico with Angelica Morales von Sauer. Her concert and recording career flourished over the following years, with appearances throughout Europe, in Mexico, Canada and the United States, and broadcasts for the BBC as well as the inaugural live broadcast on Classic FM.
Her recordings include the two concertos of MacDowell with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the sonatas of Dutilleux and Balakirev, a recital disc entitled A Piano Portrait, a Skryabin disc, two collections of works by Sorabji, a disc of music by Ethelbert and Arthur Nevin, a collection of MacDowell’s piano sonatas, Nancy Galbraith’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and a disc of the early piano works of Scelsi. Rapidly earning a reputation for an innovative approach to programme planning, her concerts have always received public and critical acclaim. Her first appearance at the Wigmore Hall in London in 1988 was universally praised, as was her New York début the following year. She has appeared as a soloist with leading British orchestras and other performances have included her appearance as a guest artist at Sir Charles Groves’ 75th Birthday Gala with the English Sinfonia in London; she also gave a memorable account of the rarely heard Franz Xavier Mozart second concerto with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, British Columbia.
Several leading composers have written works especially for her, which she has performed, broadcast and recorded. In 2003 she performed and broadcasted the world première of Sorabji’s Fifth Piano Concerto in the Netherlands. In 2004 she appeared at New York’s Carnegie Hall in collaboration with flutist Julie Seftick and gave the world première of Sorabji’s Fifth Piano Symphony at New York’s Merkin Hall. Donna Amato currently teaches piano at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of the faculty at Duquesne University.