After beginning his studies in piano, violin and composition at the age of four, he made a series of appearances as a child prodigy before entering the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy's most important music school, at the age of ten. His principal teachers include Carlo Zecchi, Arturo Bonucci and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (private and masterclass studies). Chiti was a prizewinner in the Treviso and Busoni competitions.
Gian Paolo Chiti began a duel career as a concert pianist, often in the company of his wife, the noted mezzo soprano and president and founder of the Adkins-Chiti Donne in Musica foundation Patricia Adkins Chiti and as a composer. He has written works for almost every conceivable ensemble as well as for electronic media. His catalogue also includes a large number of film and television scores. His compositions have been programmed both in Italy and abroad at such festivals as the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Biennale in Venice, Edinburgh Festival, Lutoslawski Festival, Cantiere Internazionale of Montepulciano, Nuova Consonanza, Incontri Musicali Romani, Chopin Festival in Poland, Sacred Music Festival in Chartres, France, Teatro Nacional di Caraccas in Venezuela and the Public Season at the Moscow Conservatory.
Chiti has held the post of Head of the Composition department of the Conservatorio at the Santa Cecilia in Rome since 1984. More than a generation of important young Italian musicians have been trained through his teaching. In addition, he is also a member of the Italian National committee for Dance as well as on the faculty of several universities.