A graduate of the Music and Dance Conservatory of Lyon, Alain Billard is one of the founding member of the ensemble, he is also part of the Ensemble intercontemporain since 1995, where he performs mainly as bass clarinetist, but also playing clarinet, basset-horn and contrabass clarinet.
An internationally acclaimed soloist, he has worked with several contemporary and 20th century composers including Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, as well as Philippe Manoury, Michael Jarrell, Pascal Dusapin, Bruno Mantovani and Yann Robin.
Regularly invited as guest soloist by leading national and international orchestras, he has premièred and recorded many works including Machine for Contacting the Dead (2001) by Lisa Lim, Génération (2002), a triple concerto for three clarinets by Jean-Louis Agobet, Mit Ausdruck (2003), a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra by Bruno Mantovani, Décombres by Raphael Cendo (2007), Art of Metal I, II, III (2007-2008) by Yann Robin for contrabass clarinet, chamber orchestra and electronics, del reflejo de la sombra (2010) by Alberto Posadas with Quatuor Diotima, and La Grammatica del soffio (2011) by Matteo Franceschini.
A founding member of the Nocturne wind quintet, with which he won first prize for Chamber Music at the Conservatory of Lyon, second prize at the ARD of Munich (Germany), and the Chamber Music Award of Osaka (Japan). With Odile Auboin (viola) and Hideki Nagano (piano), he created the Trio Modulations for which the composers Marco Stroppa, Bruno Mantovani and Philippe Schoeller have already penned new works.
Alain Billard is very active in the research and development of new instrumental techniques. He regularly collaborates with Ircam and the manufacturer Selmer. His participation in the Ensemble’s educational program for young people and future music professionals bear witness to his firm commitment to music transmission in all forms.