Born in Paris, Michel Benhaïem studied the piano with Germaine Mounier, Bruno Rigutto and Jean-Claude Pennetier, while pursuing his studies in Philosophy at the Sorbonne University (Master's degree). Being awarded a prize in musical Aesthetics from the Paris Conservatoire, he is a laureate of the Menuhin Foundation, the Foundation of France and the International Piano Competition of Barcelona.
In 1982, he met G. Sebök and went to study with him for three years at Indiana University, having received scholarships from the Fulbright Foundation and the French Government.
Since returning to France, he has maintained an active career as concert artist and teacher.
He taught piano and chamber music at the National School of Music of the Vallée de Chevreuse (Orsay), and is currently on the faculty of the Strasbourg Conservatory. He also teaches at the summer Academy in Nancy. He has performed numerous recordings and concerts. He was a member of the Ensemble Erwartung (several records with works by Milhaud and Villa-Lobos for the labels ADDA, Opus 111, REM), and of the Ensemble Entretemps, two ensembles dedicated to 20th century music.
He has performed with many musicians. Among his chamber music partners are David Guerrier, Daniel Arrignon, Antoine Tamestit, Pierre-Henri Xuereb, Vadim Tchijik, Joël Soultanian, Henri Demarquette, Alexandar Somov, Xavier Gagnepain, Clara Novakova, Fuminori Tanada, Myriam Bonnin, Max Bonnay. He also has worked with singers, such as Alain Buet, Marie Kobayashi, and Anna Holroyd. He is regularly invited in the chamber music series of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. As a soloist, he often performs for Radio-France, and he has played with orchestras such as Bucharest Georges Enesco Philharmonic (Vladimir Bieglitsov), Orchestre Symphonique Paris-Rive Droite (Benoît Renard), and Sinfonietta de Picardie (Louis Langrée). He performs and gives master-classes in Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Italy, Israël, Japan.
Interested by the relationship between music and words, he often produces broadcasts for France-Musique Radio about piano works or great pianists (Wilhelm Kempff, György Sebök), and is invited to give lecture-concerts. He writes texts about the practice of music, or the link between music and emotions.
He is the artistic director of the Musicales au Fival, a chamber music festival in Ardeche department.