Jean-Pierre Leguay studied with Andre Marchal, Gaston Litaize, Rolande Falcinelli (organ), Simone Ple-Caussade (counterpoint), and Olivier Messiaen (composition), before serving as titular organist at Notre-Dame-des-Champs in Paris from 1961 to 1984.
In 1985 he was named a titular organist at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.
From 1968 to1989, he taught organ, improvisation (both single and in ensemble) at the Conservatoire National de R?gion de Limoges (and music history until 1986), then at the Conservatoire National de Region de Dijon from 1989 to 2003. At the same time he was in charge of improvisation courses in Paris at the Centre d'Action Liturgique et Musical (1985-1988) and at the Conservatoire Erik Satie du 7e arrondissement.
He has won many awards for organ, improvisation (organ and piano) and composition at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, in addition to international competitions in Lyon, Nice, Haarlem, and Erding.
Internationally recognized as a concert organist, composer and improviser - not only at the organ, but also as a pianist and in ensemble - Jean-Pierre Leguay pursues a triple career throughout Europe, Canada, the United States, and Asia. He is frequently invited to appear by radio networks, academies, universities and conservatories in France and overseas.
Constantly exploring the "alchemy of sound", the composer's catalog comprises more than seventy works for various instrumental and vocal ensembles, including Etoile (harpsichord and quintet), Seve (alto saxophone and piano), Souffle (fourteen instruments), Azur (piano), Aube (organ and chamber orchestra), Cendres d'ailes (tenor and piano) and a string trio and quartet. His principal publishers are Billaudot, Lemoine, Universal, and Symetrie. He has received commissions from the Ministere de la Culture, Radio France, Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, the Concours International de Chartres, Musique Sacree a Notre-Dame de Paris, the Scottish Arts Council of Edinburgh, the Festival de Musica Espanola de Leon and the Festival de La Massana (Andorra).
Jean-Pierre Leguay's numerous recordings span repertory from the 17th - to the 21st century. Several CDs are devoted to his own compositions and improvisations. He improvised much of the music for the film Les Mysteres des Cathedrales directed by Jean-Francois Delassus for ARTE television and Les Editions Montparnasse. The recording of his Missa Deo Gratias and his Sonatas II and III was awarded a "Choc" prize by "Le Monde de la Musique" magazine. His most recent CD of improvisations at Notre-Dame Cathedral received the "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik", and his monographic CD Chant d'airain has been given a five star review in the "Diapason" magazine.
He became a "Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur" on 1 January 2013.