Jean-Pïerre Rampal was born in Marseilles, where he won his first prizes that he would later confirm at the National Music Conservatory in Paris. As of 1945, he began a prodigious career that has taken him round the world, after giving up his position as solo flute in the Orchestra of the Opéra de Paris (1956-62). He created chamber music groups—the Quintette à Vents français (‘French Wind Quintet’), Ensemble Baroque de Paris—but also continued his solo career. After a long partnership with Robert Veyron-Lacroix, he more recently formed a duet with John Steele Ritter, and they have since been joined by flautist Claudi Arimany. He frequently plays and records with Isaac Stern and Mstislav Rostropovich.
He has conducted numerous orchestras and appears regularly at the head of the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington.
He has made more than 300 recordings and obtained a great number of prizes: Académie Charles Cros, Académie du Disque Français, Edison Prize, Prix Mondial du Disque, etc.