The distinguished French organist and pedagogue, Michel Chapuis, received his initial training in Dole. His career as organist and as specialist in performance upon historically important instruments began at Cathedral of Dôle when he was quite young. He proceeded to study in Paris with René Mahlherbe (compostion) and Edouard Souberbielle (organ) at the Ecole César Frank. He also studied with Emile Poillot. Then he studied with Marcel Dupré at the Conservatoire de Paris, winning premiers prix in organ and improvisation in 1951 (the Prix Périlhou et Guilmant).
Michel Chapuis was active as a church organist in Paris. He served as organist for the Paris churches of St. Germain l'Auxerrois from 1951 to 1954 and St. Nicolas des Champs from 1954 to 1972, accompanied at Notre Dame from 1955 to 1964, and was titular organist of St. Séverin from 1964. He also toured widely as a concert artist. At the same time, he has held organ teaching posts at the prestigious conservatories. From 1956 to 1979 he was Professor at the Strasbourg Conservatoire, from 1979 to 1986 at the besaançon Conservatoire, and from 1986 to 1995 at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1995, he was named organist to the Versailles Royal Chapel.
As a performer Michel Chapuis is especially known as an interpreter of the French and the German Baroque masters. Both his life as a teacher and as a performer have been dedicated to historically informed performance. His greatest contribution has been in musical interpretations upon historic instruments. In addition to performances of every surviving piece of French organ music from the 17th and 18th centuries on the Cliquot organ of St. Nicolas des Champs, he has produced numerous recordings matching early repertoire to historic instruments: Daquin Noëls on the 1710 Silbermann organ of Marmoutier, François Couperin on the 1772 organ by Brother Isnard of Tarascon in Saint-Maximin, Marchand on the 1782 Cliquot organ at Souvigny. Among his most imprtant recordings are the complete organ works of J.S. Bach on Valios (1966-1970), considered by many as one of best recordings of this oeuvre. He has been in the forefront in France in his efforts to restore and build organs.