Born in 1950, Alain Damiens is a major figure in the clarinet upsurge. After graduating with highest honors in clarinet and chamber music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, he joined the ensemble Pupitre 14 and then went on to become solo clarinetist for the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg. In 1976, he joined the Ensemble intercontemporain, with whom he premiered Dialogue de l’ombre double by Pierre Boulez in 1985 and the Clarinet Concerto by Elliott Carter in 1997.
His repertoire spans various other premieres, in addition to works by Philippe Fénelon, Franco Donatoni, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Vinko Globokar. A Professor at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg and then at the Conservatoire de Paris, he conducts master classes all over the world (Centre Acanthes, Bartók Academy in Hungary, Kusatsu Academy in Japan, la Serena in Chili) and has performed alongside Miklós Perényi and Tabea Zimmermann.
He has taken part in “Il Projetto Pollini”, a series of concerts instigated by pianist Maurizio Pollini that combines old and new works (Beethoven, Boulez, Liszt, Nono, Stockhausen, Berg…). His recordings include the Quatuor pour la fin du temps by Olivier Messiaen, the complete clarinet works by Brahms, Sequenza IXa by Luciano Berio, and the Clarinet Concerto by Elliott Carter, which is dedicated to him.