Philip Grange studied with Peter Maxwell Davies at Dartington and David Blake at York University. He has held the posts of Fellow in the Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, Northern Arts Composer Fellow at Durham University, and lecturer Exeter University; he is currently Professor of Composition at Manchester University, a post he has held since 2001.

His first published pieces date from the late 1970s and include Cimmerian Nocturne (1979), commissioned by the Fires of London and performed by them at the 1983 Proms. Other early works include The Kingdom of Bones for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra (Huddersfield Festival commission, 1983), Variations (The Fires of London commission, 1988) and Concerto for Orchestra: Labyrinthine Images (1988), a St Magnus Festival commission for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

Works of the 1990's included two BBC commissions, Focus and Fade for the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Lowry Dreamscape, premiered at the 1993 BBC Festival of Brass; Des fins sont des commencements, commissioned and extensively toured by Gemini; and piano trio Homage to Chagall (1995), nationally toured by its commissioners the Chagall Piano Trio.

Since 2000 Grange has completed a number of major works, including a Clarinet Concerto for the RNCM Wind Band and soloist Alan Hacker, Lament of the Bow for the Contemporary Chamber Orchestra of Taipei, Sky-Maze with Song Shards and Deadalus's Lament for Okeanos, Duel Movement for the Lindsay String Quartet, a large-scale work for the Kreutzer Quartet and Eclipsing for orchestra, premiered by the BBC Philharmonic under Vassily Sinaisky in 2005.