Born in 1955, Pierre-Alain Clerc was for almost forty years organist in Lausanne, in the churches of St-Laurent and St-Paul. For many years he was an organ teacher in Lausanne, and taught mainly at the Hautes Écoles de Musique in Geneva and Lausanne, at the CNSMD in Lyon and at the CRR in Paris. He has had several organs built or rebuilt in French-speaking Switzerland. In addition to his activity as a concert performer, on the organ, harmonium or basso continuo, he works regularly as an actor.
This double musical and theatrical activity naturally led him to take an interest in what is called musical rhetoric, and then in classical French declamation, subjects on which he frequently gives performances, courses, seminars and conferences. He has written several articles in various journals, both on music and on declamation. For five years he has been the instigator of an applied research project for Molière’s L’École des Femmes in the light of 17th century historical sources, a project carried out with a group of French and Swiss academics. On this occasion he played the great role of Arnolphe. In this perspective of a historically informed artistic practice, he presides over the Swiss Association for a Theatre at the Source. He often participates in concerts as a reader or actor, in various repertoires between the 17th and 20th centuries. He has played several times the role of the Devil in L’Histoire du Soldat by Stravinsky and Ramuz (which is, for an organist, a consecration), or the reading of all the roles.