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- Lived in Clarens
- Élisée Reclus (1830–1905) a renowned French geographer, writer and anarchist resided in Clarens from 1872 
- Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) the Russian composer of the romantic period, wrote his Violin Concerto in Clarens in 1878, it is one of the best known violin concertos ever written.
- Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971), the Russian composer, lived in Clarens during the summers of 1910 to 1915. He composed his ballets The Rite of Spring and Pulcinella here.
- Died in Clarens
- David Urquhart (1805–1877) a Scottish diplomat, writer and politician, MP for Stafford 1847 to 1852, introduced the Turkish bath to Britain, lived in Clarens from 1864 and is buried here.  
- Paul Kruger (1825–1904), ex-President of the Transvaal Republic up to and including the Second Boer War, lived his final year in self-imposed exile in Clarens after escaping from South Africa, and died there. Clarens, Free State, a small town in South Africa, was named in his honor.
- Johannes van Laar (1860-1938), a Dutch chemist who is best known for the equations regarding chemical activity (Van Laar equation).
- Buried in Clarens
- Sydney Chaplin (1885–1965), an English actor and the elder half-brother of Sir Charlie Chaplin. He died in Nice and was buried in Clarens.
- Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980), an Austrian artist, poet and playwright of expressionistic portraits and landscapes, lived in Montreux from 1947 to 1980, where he died. He is buried in Clarens.
- Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977), a Russian-born novelist, poet, translator and entomologist; in 1961 he and Véra moved from the United States to Montreux, where he subsequently died. He is buried in Clarens.
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St George's School in Switzerland, a British international school, is in Clarens.
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