Duruflé was born in 1902 in Louviers, France. He attended the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied with Paul Dukas and Charles Tournemire, among others.
Duruflé was an accomplished organist, and he served as the organist at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris for many years. In 1927, Louis Vierne nominated him as his assistant at Notre-Dame. Duruflé and Vierne remained lifelong friends, and Duruflé was at Vierne’s side acting as assistant when Vierne died at the console of the Notre-Dame organ on 2 June 1937.
His music is characterized by its strong ties to the French choral tradition and its use of modal harmonies, and he is particularly well known for his choral works such as the “Requiem” and the “Messe Cum Jubilo.”
He died in 1986 at the age of 84.