After finishing secondary art education, Alain Craens continued his education at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire, where he obtained First Prizes for composition, solfège, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, oboe, cor anglais and chamber music.
From 1978 until 1998, he was a teacher of oboe, chamber music and harmony at the Academy of the town of Leuven (Stedelijk Muziekconservatorium van Leuven), the State Academy of Antwerp and at the Ekeren branch of the Academy of the town of Antwerp (Stedelijke Muziekacademie van Antwerpen – afdeling Ekeren), where he was temporary headmaster from 1993 till 1996.
He teaches harmony and counterpoint, and arrangement. He also co-ordinates the subjects of music theory at the Antwerp conservatoire, where he has also been a member of the artistic board from 2001 til 2020.
As a performing musician, he was oboe soloist of the orchestra of the Flemish Chamber Opera and the Flemish Chamber Orchestra and gave concerts with various ensembles at home and abroad.
In gaining his final diploma, he was awarded the Paul Gilson prize for harmony and the A. De Vleeschouwer prize, which he also won in May 1985 for his composition “Divertimento for oboe, clarinet and bassoon”. He was also awarded twice the Cantabile prize for piano composition, in 1989 and 1991.
Alain Craens received various assignments for compositions and his works have been premièred and played by renowned musicians and ensembles. Many compositions are recorded on cd (on the labels Arsis Classic, Phaedra, De Haske,…) or were recorded for radio.