The musical archives contain scores by composers from French-speaking Switzerland in all genres. The documentary collections (correspondence, programmes, press cuttings, artists’ details and photographs) are a valuable source of information on musical life in western Switzerland.

Video : Etonnantes collections – Igor Markevitch


Video : Etonnantes collections – Clara Haskil

Founded in 1971, the musical archives department contains over 100 collections illustrating musical creativity in Vaud canton and French-speaking Switzerland from the mid-19th century to the present day.

Focused mainly on classical music, the musical archives also feature other styles, as evidenced by the collections of brass player Jean-François Bovard, percussionist Fritz Hauser or jazz pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, as well as the folk-music collections of André Pernet and André-Olivier Clerc. Contemporary music also plays an important part, with the collections of Jean Balissat, Pierre-André Bovey, William Blank, Fabio Maffei, Henri Scolari, Eric Gaudibert, Lionel Rogg and others.

The archives are also home to bequests by conductors, such as Igor Markevitch or Carl Schuricht, along with internationally renowned performers, such as Clara Haskil or Nikita Magaloff.

All our collections are catalogued in our Patrinum database.

Consult a document in the musical archives.

For conservation reasons, the musical archives do not store any audiovisual items. Audio recordings relevant to particular collections in the musical archives are stored at the Swiss National Sound Archive.

The two institutions’ shared collections are brought together virtually, and we are delighted to present the archives of performers such as pianist Clara Haskil or Vaud violinist Alfred Pochon (founder of the Quatuor du Flonzaley), composers such as Gustave Doret, Constantin Regamey, Eric Gaudibert and Henri Scolari or the JazzNyon Festival collection: Collections shared with the Swiss National Sound Archive.

As everyone knows, archives are mainly linear metres of grey boxes that you can only view under supervision. But sometimes, the works are released from their boxes and get a makeover, like some of the manuscript scores in the musical archives published in our Editions series of scores.

All our scores are on sale by Editions Schola Cantorumat Payot Pépinet in Lausanne or can be ordered by email.

The musical archives work in close collaboration with the other musical departments and the Manuscripts Department. More detailed information about the musical collections in Swiss archives and libraries can be found on the RISM Suisse website.


Biographical notes on Vaud musicians.