Summer 2022
The Academy’s Conducting Programme offers a stepping stone to emerging conductors who are on the verge of leading orchestras at the highest level.

Conducting Fellows are mentored by and network with a who’s who from the world of classical music, including, notably, Verbier Festival Orchestra Music Director, Valery Gergiev and Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra Music Director, Gábor Takács-Nagy.

Four young conductors are accepted to the Academy’s Conducting Programme. They take part in section training led by 12 established musicians from New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, as well as tutti rehearsals led by Derrick Inouye, the Verbier Festival Orchestra’s (VFO) Assistant Conductor. They will, where possible, collaborate with Maestro Inouye as he prepares the VFO for its Festival performances. Throughout the Festival, students may perform assistant conductor duties for Valery Gergiev and other visiting conductors of the VFO and Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra (VFCO) Music Director Gábor Takács-Nagy and other visiting VFCO conductors.

Other activities include: 

  • A collective meeting with Maestro Gergiev 
  • A mentorship meeting with Festival Founder & Director Martin T:son Engstroem 
  • A roundtable discussion with Gabór Takács-Nagy, VFCO Music Director 
  • Public performances of small ensemble works when possible 

This is a largely self-directed programme, and participants with flexibility, openness and personal-initiative will benefit the most from the many opportunities that are presented. Students are urged to attend and take part in as many activities as possible during their time at the Festival.

programme dates

7 July – 1 August 2022

includes arrival and departure dates


Age & Nationality

Musicians of all nationalities between the ages of 25 to 35 on 1 July 2022

costs for successful candidates

The Verbier Festival will cover the cost of return travel from each musician’s place of residence to Verbier. Musicians who travel from or return to a location other than their place of residence—and who subsequently face an increased travel cost—are responsible to the pay the difference in fare.

The Verbier Festival will also cover tuition fees and provide lodging, lunches and dinners, plus a stipend for daily breakfast.


Applications open: 20 October 2021
Deadline: 19 December 2021

Application Fee: USD 85

guidelines / apply now

covid-19 vaccination

Musicians who choose to take part in Verbier Festival Academy programmes do so voluntarily and are therefore obliged to accept and follow rules set out by the Fondation du Verbier Festival in order to make its programmes viable and compliant with local law.  In the interest of public safety, the Verbier Festival Academy requires all students to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 for the duration of the programmes in which they take part. All students accepted to Academy programmes will also be obliged to be regularly tested as part of the Festival’s repetitive testing scheme. The Festival reserves the right to make changes to its Covid-19 protection plan as required.

valery gergiev

Music Director, VFO

Arguably the most distinguished conductor in the world, Valery Gergiev is a champion of discovering and nurturing new musical talent. He is a vivid representative of the St Petersburg conducting school and a former pupil of the legendary Professor Ilya Musin. In 1988 Maestro Gergiev was appointed Music Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, and in 1996 became its Artistic and General Director. Under his direction, the Mariinsky Theatre has become a major theatre and concert complex, without par anywhere in the world. Despite a schedule that would daunt even the busiest politician, Maestro Gergiev has been a regular visitor to the Verbier Festival and, in 2018, was appointed Music Director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

gábor takács-nagy

Music Director, VFCO

Hungarian conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy Gábor Takács-Nagy was appointed Music Director of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra in 2007. A founding member and principal violin (1975 to 1992) of the Takács Quartet, he performed with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Mstislav Rostropovitch, András Schiff, Mikhail Pletnev, Joshua Bell and Gidon Kremer. He founded the Takács Piano Trio in 1996 and the Mikrokosmos Quartet in 1998 (Excellencia Prize for the complete cycle of Bartók’s quartets). Since 2002 he has devoted himself entirely to orchestral conducting, when he founded the Camerata Bellerive. In 2011, he was appointed Music Director of the Manchester Camerata and, in 2012, Principal Guest Conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Takács became Principal Artistic Partner of the Irish Chamber Orchestra in 2013. He coaches string quartets at the Haute Ecole de Musique, Geneva and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music (2012).

mentors 2022

Charles Dutoit conductor emeritus, vfo
Valery Gergiev
music director, vfo
Gianandrea Noseda
Gabór Takács-Nagy music director, vfco
Michael Tilson Thomas
Claudio Vandelli

repertoire highlights 2022

First, Fourth and Fifteenth Symphonies

Un Ballo in Maschera

Le Sacre du printemps

coaches 2022

In preparation for work with the VFO’s distinguished conductors, Academy Conductors receive coaching from musicians of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The list of coaches for 2022 will be listed here soon. In the meantime, the list of 2021 coaches follows:

Derrick Inouye conductor
Caterina Szepes violin
Nancy Wu violin
Désirée Elsevier viola
Dorothea Figueroa cello
Leigh Mesh double bass
Chelsea Knox flute

Nathan Hughes oboe
Jessica Phillips clarinet
William Short bassoon
Joseph Anderer horn
David Langlitz brass
Timur Martynov trumpet
Greg Zuber percussion