Verbier Festival
Verbier Festival Academy

Verbier Festival Academy

The Verbier Festival Academy is life-changing. It offers an opportunity for learning, for reflection, for inspiration and for making new connections—all in the majestic setting of the Swiss Alps. The Academy is a leader in identifying, encouraging and nurturing tomorrow’s exceptional soloists, chamber musicians and singers through creative exchange with a who’s who of today’s leading musicians, music educators and industry professionals. It’s equally committed to developing careers that reach beyond the concert hall in engaging and meaningful ways. Academy musicians are part of a bustling, creative atmosphere that is unique to the Verbier Festival. They attend concerts by their peers in the three Festival Orchestras and by a roster of distinguished musical heroes. All this, and professional connections and friendships that last a lifetime.


Stephen McHolm
Academy Director & Special Projects


Every summer, for three weeks, more than 50 young artists are invited to join the Verbier Festival’s artistic community through the Verbier Festival Academy. Save the dates!

18 July to 6 August

17 July to 5 August

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A Day at the Academy


The Verbier Festival Academy offers more than 100 masterclasses in piano, violin, viola, cello, chamber music and voice delivered by an inspiring artist-faculty. Almost every masterclass is open to the public and is presented before a large and enthusiastic audience.  All instrumentalists take part in chamber music classes taught by some of the world’s most revered chamber players, including Gabor Takács-Nagy. Singers rub shoulders with their operatic idols as they prepare for life on the stages of the world’s most prestigious opera houses.

Public Performances

Academy musicians perform in daily concerts at the Verbier Cinema and in the hugely popular final concerts on the Festival’s closing weekend. Singers in the Opera Programme appear in a semi-staged production of a featured opera each summer. Musicians in the Reaching Out Programme lead Music Discovery workshops and concerts for children and musically-curious adults. All Academy musicians immerse themselves in the entire Verbier experience by attending unforgettable Festival concerts by the world’s top classical musicians.

Career Development & Networking

The Academy encourages musicians to embrace non-musical ingredients essential to a building a successful career. Through personal advice and practical training, musicians identify what makes them unique, learn how to communicate effectively and develop skills to engage 21st century audiences. Verbier is the ideal place to meet artists, agents, promoters, orchestra managers and recording executives. These invited guests actively take an interest in the Academy and are encouraged to contribute to the development of its musicians.

After the Academy

Verbier Festival Academy musicians are transformed both personally and musically every year. They return to their daily lives enriched by music-making at the highest level and connections and friendships that last a lifetime. The Verbier Festival team continues its work for Academy alumni long after the summer has passed by actively following and promoting careers, and facilitating performance and audition opportunities through its global network. Alumni are featured as soloists in international tours by the Verbier Festival Orchestras and in other special concerts.

2017 in Numbers

Musicians56 musicians from 20 countries
Age of MusiciansAverage: 22.5
Academy Concerts16+
1 Opera
Numerous outreach concerts
Average July daily temperature (high/low)26/13 celsius
Altitude1,500 metres

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board of the Verbier Festival Academy meets twice a year. Its purpose is to support the Academy’s long-term vision, to develop working partnerships and to come up with new ideas.


Bob Boas
Karl Dannenbaum
Martin T:son Engstroem
Bernhard Hahnloser
Frans Helmerson
Irina Knaster
Stephen McHolm
Costa Pilavachi
Julien Schoenlaub
Doreen Tabor