Prix Yves Paternot

Recognising Promise

Yves Paternot with daughter Sophie

Laureates of the Prix Yves Paternot are ambassadors of the Verbier Festival, its Academy, and the excellence they represent.

Yves Paternot was an emblematic figure of the Verbier Festival. A founder of the Friends of the Verbier Festival and member of the Festival’s Foundation Board. In tribute to his commitment, the Prix Yves Paternot recognises the Academy’s most promising musician each summer. The Laureate receives CHF 10,000, an invitation to perform at a future edition of the Festival, and is eligible for a contribution of up to CHF 15,000 to support his or her artistic and professional development.


Ava Dodd soprano
Laureate 2023

Highlights of our most recent Laureate’s 2023/24 season include débuts with the English National Opera as Second Niece (Peter Grimes) and the Opéra national de Lorraine as Fenimore in Kurt Weill’s Der Silbersee. Ava Dodd also performs at the Wexford Festival as Sonia in Camille Erlanger’s L’Aube rouge. With the assistance of the Prix Yves Paternot funds, she is making a professional recording of opera arias with the RTE Concert Orchestra (Ireland) for release in 2024.

Bryan Cheng cello
Laureate 2022

A year after being named Laureate of the Prix Yves Paternot, Bryan Cheng was named recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Virginia Parker Prize, the nation’s highest honour for young musicians in the cellist’s native country. Cheng’s recent performance highlights include a debut with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin at the Berliner Philharmonie in the „Debüt im Deutschlandfunk Kultur“ series as well as appearances with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa). He returns to the stage of the Verbier Festival for chamber music performances in 2024.

Sungho Kim tenor
Laureate 2021

Korean tenor Sungho Kim has made impressive strides since being named a Prix Yves Paternot Laureate in 2021. Notably, he was awarded the Song Prize at Cardiff Singer of the World in 2023 and Third Prize at the Internationaler Wettbewerb Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in 2022.  Currently, he is a member of Theater Dortmund’s ensemble. Sungho Kim returns to Verbier in 2025 for a performance in the Verbier Festival’s mainstage opera.

Meigui Zhang soprano
Laureate 2019

In 2023/24, Chinese soprano Meigui Zhang makes debuts with the New York Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of Aaron Zigman & Mark Campbell’s Émigré (Lina Song), which will be recorded by Deutsche Grammophon. She also makes her Los Angeles Opera debut in Don Giovanni (Zerlina), her debut with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in Così fan tutte (Despina), and a debut with Fort Worth in La bohème (Musetta). In summer 2024, she returns to Verbier to perform the role of Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro.

Timothy Chooi violin
Laureate 2018

2023/2024 marks an exciting touring year for Timothy Chooi: collaborations with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring Emmy Award nominee composer Brian Tyler, a return to the Toronto Symphony, and debuts with the European Union Youth Orchestra, Brucknerhaus Orchester, and at the Wimbledon Music Festival. Chooi now serves as Professor of Violin at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He performs on two exceptional rare violins: the Titan Guarneri Del Gesu violin from 1741, on loan from CANIMEX INC. in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada, and the Engleman Stradivarius violin from 1709, on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation in Japan.

Adèle Charvet mezzo-soprano
Laureate 2017

French mezzo-soprano returned to Verbier in 2023 in the role of Margret in Berg’s opera Wozzeck. During her visit, she spoke about her experience winning the Prix Yves Paternot: “I felt an undeniable before/after Verbier effect. I went from promising young student to a young professional singer. My agent, whom I adore, admitted to me that they hadn’t heard of me before seeing the article reporting that a French woman had won the Prix Yves Paternot. It was the start of everything, a sure milestone towards professionalisation.” Charvet’s latest recording Vivaldi, Chelleri, & Ristori : Teatro Sant’Angelo was released on Alpha Classics in 2023.

Milan Siljanov bass-baritone
Laureate 2016

After receiving the inaugural Prix Yves Paternot, Swiss bass-baritone Milan Siljanov went on to win Second Prize at Munich’s ARD Music Competition in 2018 and the start of busy professional career. He has returned to the Verbier Festival twice since 2016: first, in 2018 in the role of Prince de Bouillon in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, and again in 2019 as Der Einarmige in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten. Siljanov has recently finished recording a song project, supported by the funds of his Prix Yves Paternot.