After studying organ and composition at the Conservatoire of Nice, Marcel Pérès pursued his musical education in Great Britain and Canada. Back in Europe in 1979, he began to specialize in Medieval music and in 1982, founded Ensemble Organum with which he undertook a methodical exploration of Medieval liturgical repertoires.
In 1984 he founded the Centre Européen pour la Recherche sur l’Interprétation des Musiques Médiévales (CERIMM) at the Royaumont Foundation, a research centre for the performance of medieval music, of which he was director until 1999. With Ensemble Organum he has released about forty records and CDs of which most have been awarded the highest acclaims: Diapason d’Or, Classical Awards, Choc de l’Année by Le Monde de la Musique. In 2001, at the former Abbey of Moissac, Marcel Pérès created the Centre Itinérant de Recherche sur les Musiques Anciennes (CIRMA), designed to be a showcase, via music, of man’s migrations, his thinking and know-how over the past centuries and to develop a mutually informative approach between living traditions, musical archaeology and the sciences of memory.
Marcel Pérès’ international action was acknowledged in 1990 when he was awarded the international cultural relations’ Leonardo da Vinci Prize. In 1996 he became a Chevalier and in 2013, Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.