At the age of 19, he was appointed organist of the Arras cathedral and won the first prize for improvisation at the Lyon international competition in 1971. In 1973 he won the grand prize for improvisation at the Chartres international competition and then became titular organist of this prestigious cathedral.
In 1985 he was appointed titular organist of Notre-Dame de Paris with Olivier Latry and Jean-Pierre Leguay.
He regularly gives concerts and master classes in Europe, the United States, South America, Japan, Russia and Eastern Europe and has made numerous recordings.
Director of the National Conservatory of Lille from 1980 to 2003, he was then appointed director of the Notre-Dame de Paris masterclass, director of the services of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and at the same time professor of improvisation at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Paris until 2014.
He was for more than twenty years a qualified member of the commissions of the Ministry of Culture in charge of the restoration and construction of organs and a member of the Superior Commission of Historic Monuments.
Considered as one of the most representative interpreters and improvisers of French art, Philippe Lefebvre is president of the association of the great organs of Chartres and of the national association Orgue en France.
Since 1985 Philippe Lefebvre has been organist-titular of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He discovered the organ at age 15 ; on the advice of Pierre Cochereau, then Organist of Notre-Dame, he began studies in organ and improvisation first at the Conservatory in Lille ont then Paris. In 1971 he was awarded the first prize in organ and improvisation from the National Conservatory and first prize in counterpoint and fugue. He also won first prize in improvisation at Lyon and one year later first prize in the prestigious Chartres Cathedral international competition.
In 1976 he was appointed titular organist of Chartres Cathedral, then in 1985 as titular of Notre-Dame Cathedral with Olivier Latry and Jean-Pierre Leguay.
Alongside his concert career Philippe Lefebvre is “manager”: it has been for over twenty years as director of the National Conservatory of Lille, the oldest in France, which under his leadership became one of the most famous in 1700 with students.
He was then appointed Director of the Master of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, General Director of Services of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, and for several years he was a professor of improvisation at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Paris .
Philippe Lefebvre has traveled the world playing concerts and conducting master classes. He has many recordings to his name and is regarded as one of the players and improvisers most representative of the French Organ School, an art which he illustrates troughout the world.