The flautist Alexandre Magnin was born in Lausanne in 1936 and had his musical training in Geneva and Zurich. He won the Premier Prix de Virtuosité at the Geneva Conservatoire, later appearing with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, with the encouragement of Ernest Ansermet. In 1960 he became principal flautist in the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, while continuing a distinguished career as a soloist in Switzerland and abroad.
Alexandre Magnin has a particular interest in the work of J.S. Bach and has contributed notably to musicological research into Bach's music for flute and to the study of symbolism in Bach. He is a champion also of contemporary music, a fact witnessed by a number of dedications to him from contemporary composers.