Miklós Perényi was born in Budapest into a musical family. At the age of five he received his first cello lessons from Miklós Zsamboki, a former pupil of David Popper, and at the age of seven he was admitted to the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy Budapest where he studied with Professor Ede Banda. He made his debut in Budapest at the age of nine. He undertook further studies at the Accademia Santa Cecilia Roma with Professor Enrico Mainardi.
In 1963 he was a prize winner at the International Casals Competition held in Budapest. In 1965 and 1966 Pablo Casals invited him to join his masterclasses in Zermatt and Puerto Rico, followed by an invitation to perform at the Marlboro Festival in the next four consecutive years.
As an acknowledgement of his musical activities he was awarded the Kossuth Prize in 1980, and the Bartok-Pasztory Prize in 1987. As a soloist and a chamber musician he has appeared in many musical centres and festivals in Europe as well as in Japan, China, and North and South America. He has a very extensive repertoire, including pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries to the present day.
In 1974 he was appointed a teacher at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy Budapest, and since 1980 he has been Professor of the cello department. In addition to his work as a performer and teacher, Miklós Perényi is an avid composer; his compositions include pieces for cello and works for small and large chamber ensembles.
One of Miklós Perenyi’s close partnerships is with the pianist Andras Schiff, and they have worked together in numerous venues in Europe, including London’s Wigmore Hall, the Edinburgh Festival, Ruhr Festival, and the Schubertiade in Austria, and have toured in North America. His recording with Andras Schiff of the Beethoven Sonatas for Cello and Piano on ECM received outstanding reviews and was awarded the Cannes Classical Award 2005. Miklós Perenyi also works frequently with the Keller Quartet.
He has made a number of recordings for various labels including a 1999 release by Hungaroton of works by Ernö Dohnányi, Ferenc Farkas, Zoltán Kodály, György Ligeti, András Mihály, and Sàndor Veress with the Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon, and a recording of the complete works for cello of Kódaly.