Donna Amato was born in Pittsburgh, where she received her earliest musical training. Since her début with orchestra at the age of fourteen and her early studies with the great American virtuoso Ozan Marsh, she has received many honors and awards. In 1983, after graduating from college with an Honors degree in music, she immediately traveled to Europe to immerse herself in the European piano tradition, studying with Louis Kentner in London and Gaby Casadesus in Paris; the award of a scholarship to Guido Agosti's prestigious masterclass series in Siena, Italy resulted in the award of the series' highest honor, the discretionary Diploma d'Onore. Her studies in Mexico with Angelica Morales von Sauer resulted in several return concert engagements there. Her concert and recording career flourished over the following ten years, with appearances in Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Norway, Mexico, Canada, and the United States, and Radio broadcasts on the BBC as well as the inaugural live broadcast on Classic FM .
An artist with a busy recording schedule, her currently available recordings include the two concertos of Edward MacDowell with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the sonatas of Dutilleux and Balakirev, the recital disc "A Piano Portrait" (works by Liszt, Debussy, Ravel and Gershwin), a disc of late piano music of Skryabin, two CDs of piano works by Sorabji, a CD of music by Edgeworth-resident 19th-century composers Ethelbert and Arthur Nevin, and a CD of music by British composers. Recent CD releases include the complete piano sonatas of American Romantic composer Edward MacDowell, a CD in collaboration with Matthew Murchison, two solo CDs of Carson Cooman's piano works, Nancy Galbraith's Second Piano Concerto, and a disc of solo Scelsi. Recent releases include discs of Thomas L. Read, Arnold Rosner, and a recording of the Piano Symphony No. 5 of Sorabji. Several leading contemporary composers have written works especially for her, which she has performed, broadcast and recorded.
Donna Amato currently teaches piano at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, and works at Carnegie Mellon as an Assisting Artist.