was born in Sao Paulo and got classical guitar lessons with the uruguayan master Isaias Sávio and music theory lessons at the Music and Drama Conservatory of São Paulo.
He lived in France for five years and received a classical guitar master's degree in performance from the Université Musicale Internationale of Paris, and a master's degree in Musicology from the University of Paris-Sorbonne with his thesis Heitor Villa-Lobos and his guitar work (Editora Musimed – Brasília – Brasil).
In Paris, he was strongly influenced by jazz and Latin-American music which characterizes his compositional work, added to Brazilian styles. He performed with great success at 9ème Festival de Jazz de Paris that allowed him to perform in Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Canada and the United States. In Spain, he won two awards in important international guitar competitions: Concurso Andrés Segóvia (Palma de Mallorca) and Concurso Francisco Tárrega (Valencia).
On his return to Brazil, Marco settled in Brasilia after he was invited by UnB (University of Brasilia) to establish the courses of Classical Guitar and Functional Harmony. He recorded his first two albums for Som da Gente (Violão Popular Brasileiro Contemporaneo – 1985 - and Circulo das Cordas – 1987). These two records allowed him to perform in The Town Hall of New York, in 1988. In 1989 he moved to Rio de Janeiro and took part in the Free Jazz Festival in four instances: in a memorable performance with Trio D'Alma in 1989; with his own work in 1991; with Wagner Tiso in 1992, and with Edu Lobo in 1996. He recorded with many prominent artists in the Brazilian musical scenario, such as, Gal Costa, Tom Jobim, Edu Lobo, Gilberto Gil, Wagner Tiso, Daniela Mercury, Zizi Possi, Zélia Duncan, Cassia Eller, Rildo Hora, Paulinho da Viola, Milton Nascimento, Leila Pinheiro, Fátima Guedes, Nelson Goncalves and Roberto Carlos amongst others.
Marco Pereira received the important Sharp Award in two different editions: as Best Arranger (1993) for Gal Costa's album and as Best Soloist and Best Album of the Year (1994) for Bons Encontros with the pianist Cristovão Bastos.
Currently, he a professor in the Composition Departament at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). His compositions were issued by the publisher Éditions Lemoine - Paris, France - and GSP (Guitar Solo Publications) - San Francisco, CA - USA, Editora Musimed (Brasília - Brazil) and Editora Garbolights (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). and have been played and recorded by important guitarists all around the world.
In 1995, Marco released three albums: Dança dos Quatro Ventos for the Belgian label GHA; Elegia for Channel Classics of The Netherlands; and Brasil Musical for the Brazilian label Tom Brasil. In 1999, Marco released his solo album Valsas Brasileiras with an exquisite repertoire of the modern Brazilian popular waltzes. In 2001 he released the album Luz das Cordas recorded with the mandolin player Hamilton de Holanda. In 2004 he recorded two different albums: Original – GSP (Guitar Solo Publications - San Francisco, CA – ) with his own compositions for solo guitar, and O samba da minha terra – Independent – with new arrangements and compositions for guitar, bass, drums and percussion. In 2006 he did an album with harmonica: Afinidade; in 2007 he released his album with orchestra: Camerístico; still in 2007 he released his book+CD Ritmos Brasileiros (Braziian Rhythms). He also has two CDs in Europe: Stella del Matino (EGEA – Perugia – Italy) and Essence (Kind of Blue – Lugano – Switzerland).
In 2010 he released a new solo guitar album together with a book that contains all arrangements and compositions transcribed in musical notation. He also released a method for 7 strings guitar (‘Sete Cordas – técnica e estilo’). In 2011 he released his "Cadernos de Harmonia" (a Harmony method for guitar in 3 volumes) and a CD with his work for guitar and orchestra.
His composition "Lendas Amazônicas", for two guitars and orchestra was premiered in November 2012 in São Paulo, Brazil.
In 2017, his "Concerto Calunga", for guitar and orchestra, was premiered in Russia having Eduardo Isaac as soloist.
“Marco Pereira's first recording of entirely self-penned solo pieces is a revelation, the kind of album that makes you reconsider the stifling expectations sometimes associated with the "classical" guitar, perhaps the most glorious of all six-strings. Rooted in such a strong cultural tradition, the tunes sometimes sound familiar, yet Pereira avoids the cliches that players often fall back on. …the harmonic depth and rhythmic grooves of such pieces as ‘Tio Boros’ and ‘Bate-coxa’ will have fellow guitarists shaking their heads in amazement.” — Teja Gerken, Acoustic Guitar Magazine
“Marco's impeccable technique and feel bring each composition alive, Having only performed these works with a rhythm section, this recording of solo renditions of these works has imparted an incredibly powerful feel and groove to each of the many styles of Brazilian music found on this disc, including: street samba, baiao (utilizing slap bass techniques), maracatu and frevo, a dream-like version of seresta, the forro and, of course, the choro. Of special note is the sound quality of the recording achieved by the engineer, Dean Kamei, founder and head honcho at Guitar Solo Publications, their relationship having begun over a decade ago with this disc acting as their first attempt at capturing the diverse and vital sounds of Brazil. The guitar sound is warm and inviting, giving this North American guitarist a sense (and longing) of the exotic and vital musical world that is encompassed in the land of Carnival.” — John Martin, Guitart Magazine
“...a startling clean technique combined with a 'looseness' rarely found outside jazz and funk circles. If you think the Assad Brothers are amazing then Marco Pereira will most likely make you go 'ooh' just like when you first heard the synchronized conflagrations of the world's number one duo. Another GSP triumph; highly recommended.” —Tim Panting, Classical Guitar Magazine
“Some players make you smile when you hear them play because you know inside they bring forth a rare gift through their interpretations, arrangements, and compositions that others may never find — a certain poetry exists. Mr. Pereira will keep you smiling throughout the 44 minutes included on his recent recording for GSP Records. Pereira composes music that sounds incredibly improvisationary at times but always the work of a stunning virtuoso talent. Marco's music contains captivating melodic material with rhythmic variety allowing the listener to bask in the glorious sounds that flow naturally from his nylon-string guitar. I can't imagine my collection without this CD!” — Fred Gillett, Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine
“…a collection of lively and moving celebrations which vicariously afford a peek into several windows of Brasilian mood. …Pereira breathes life into these pieces, magically animating musical notes rendered on solo guitar into flamboyant Rio street scenes. Pereira plays with the lightning-fast precision of a studied classical player, but exhorts his own unique voice with some striking stylistic nuances. I can tell you that Marco Pereira’s ‘Original’ is fantastic.” — Alan Fark, Minor 7th
“This recording not only was musically exhilarating, it also provided a virtual cultural tour of Brazil, all courtesy of Marco Pereira, who took care of all the technical details to leave the listener to just enjoy and dream away. This CD deserves kudos not only for the wonderful music but also for the masterful programming of the pieces.” — Raul Jose, Guitarreando Newsletter/ACGS
"In a country where the classical guitar plays a major role in representing the spirit of its music, Marco Pereira stands out as a premier soloist, composer, and arranger. The beauty of his sound, his impeccable performances, plus the alluring intricacy of his harmonies create a palette of wonderful colors." — Oscar Castro-Neves
“These pieces reflect the romanticism, myster, ‘joie de vivre,’ and harmonic/melodic invention that characterizes so much Brazilian music, and all are exquisitely played by one of Brazil’s best guitarists.” — Ron Forbes-Roberts, Acoustic Guitar Magazine
“Performing on both 6 and 8 string guitars, Pereira's playing is wonderful. The choice of repertoire should please both the avid listener of Brazilian music and the novice alike. This disc is a must have for the fan of Brazilian music” — Phillip Hemmo, Minor 7th Review
“I did get to listen to the Marco Pereira CD and was knocked out! Beautiful player with loads of technique and style… fantastic! Valsas Brasileiras’ explores the versatility and diversity of the Brazilian Waltz. …Pereira’s playing is wonderful. …we are treated to refined, well thought through interpretations. This disc is a must have for the fan of Brazilian music.” — Ron Casey, Virtual Guitar Magazine
“The CD has everything that I look for in a recording—great (not just good) guitar playing, music that takes you away, wonderful ‘feel’, and also excellent recording quality.” — Raul Jose, Arizona Classical Guitar Society Newsletter "This is a splendid solo collection of twelve Brazilian waltzes by guitarist Marco Pereira, the powerhouse player who most recently graced vocalist Luciana Souza's Gramy-nominated "Brazilian Duos" CD. Here, Pereira again demonstrates that the best gentleness comes from strength: while the overall feel of "Valsas Brasileiras" is relaxing and tender, his mastery of the instrument and its harmonic possibilities lifts the music out of the "ear candy" category into something direct and profound. This is an elegant, romantic CD, a superb antidote to the troubling noises all around us these days." — Judith Schlesinger, All Music Guide
The guitar virtuoso Marco Pereira combines the strength of his musical ideas and the warmth he breathes into them with a superb technique to create dazzling and inspired music - Bruce Gilman - Brazzil Magazine