Ferrari composed works that have moved away, more or less, from purely musical preoccupations, some of which could be branches of the same tree - the problem being trying to express passing ideas, sensations and intuitions through different means, observing daily life in all its reality - social, psychological or sentimental - in the form of texts, instrumental scores, electroacoustical compositions, reports, stage works, etc.
Ferrari studied piano at "Conservatoire de Versailles" 1946-1948), then composition at "École normale de musique" with Arthur Honegger & Alfred Cortot (1948-1950), followed the courses of Oliver Messiaen (1953-1954).
He joined "Groupe de Musique concrète" in 1958, remaining until 1966, and collaborated with Pierre Schaeffer in setting up "Groupe de recherches musicales" (1958). In 1965 and 1966 he produced with Gérard Patris for ORTF "Les grandes répétitions", a series of television documentaries on contemporary music.
He won several prizes as the Karl Sczuka Prize (1972) for "Portrait-Spiel" and for "Je me suis perdu" (1988 ). Ferrari also won Prix Italia 1987 for "Et si tout entière maintenant" and Prix Italia 1991 for "L'Escalier des aveugles". In 1990 he received the Koussevitzky Foundation Prize for "Histoire du plaisir et de la désolation".
In 1972, Ferrari established his own studio ("atelier") named "Studio Billig". Ferrari also founded the studio/label La Muse En Circuit in 1982, eventually resigning in 1994. In 1996 he relocated his home studio, "Atelier Post-Billig".