Miklós Spányi was born in Budapest, Hungary. He studied organ and harpsichord at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in his native city with Ferenc Gergely and János Sebestyén. He continued his studies at the Royal Flemish Conservatory (Koninklijk Vlaams Muziekconservatorium) in Antwerp with Jos van Immerseel and at the Hochschule für Music in Munich with Hedwig Bilgram.
Spányi has won first prize at international harpsichord competitions in Nantes (1984) and Paris (1987). He has given concerts in most European countries as a soloist on five historical keyboard instruments (organ, harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord, tangent piano) as well as playing continuo with various chamber music groups and orchestras. He has been artistic director of the Hungarian baroque orchestra Concerto Armonico Budapest since its foundation in 1983. He has recorded an extensive discography for different labels as a soloist and with orchestra. Between 2006–2009 Spányi was artistic director of the Finnish early music group Ensemble OpusX.
For some years Spányi’s work as a performer and researcher has been focused on the oeuvre of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Today he is one of the world’s most acknowledged C. P. E. Bach scholars and performers. For the Swedish label BIS he has been recording C. P. E. Bach’s Complete Keyboard Concertos as well as his Complete Solo Keyboard Music, of both series numerous cd’s have already been issued. Hungaroton Records has launched the series Tangent Piano Collection with Spányi, mostly featuring chamber music with tangent piano. For Könemann Music Budapest Spányi has editied some volumes of C. P. E. Bach’s solo keyboard works. He has also worked intensively to revive Bach’s favourite keyboard instrument, the clavichord.
Spányi was teaching at the Oulu Conservatoire and the Sibelius Academy in Finland between 1990–2012. Currently he is associated as teacher with the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim, Germany, with the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary and with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He has given masterclasses in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Hungary and Finland.
Spányi is also appreciated as improviser and composer.