Published on 30 Jul 2022
Prix Yves Paternot 2022

PRIX YVES PATERNOT: Canadian cellist Bryan Cheng awarded Verbier Festival Academy top honour

July 30, 2022 – VERBIER (Switzerland) — Bryan Cheng, a 25-year old Canadian cellist, has won the Verbier Festival Academy’s Prix Yves Paternot in recognition of the most accomplished and promising musician of the annual Academy for young professional musicians.

Yves Paternot was an emblematic figure of the Verbier Festival; he was founder of the Friends of the Verbier Festival and member of the Foundation’s Board. In tribute to his commitment, the Prix Yves Paternot recognises the Academy’s most accomplished musician. The recipient is awarded CHF 10,000, an invitation to return to Verbier in a future year to perform in the Festival and is eligible for a contribution of up to CHF 15,000 to support his or her artistic and professional development.

Bryan Cheng was awarded Second Prize and the Audience Prize at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2021 and, earlier this year, was named Sixth Laureate at the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Brussels) and First Prize winner at the UNISA International Strings Competition in Pretoria (South Africa). The young cellist gave his sold-out Carnegie Hall recital debut at age 14, his Elbphilharmonie debut in 2018 with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and will make his Berlin Philharmonie debut in 2022/23 with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

During his three weeks in the Verbier Festival Academy’s Soloist programme, Cheng was mentored by Alban Gerhardt, Frans Helmerson and Miklós Perényi in cello masterclasses, and by Mihaela Martin, Augustin Dumay, Mathieu Herzog and Gábor Takács-Nagy in chamber music.

“I have learned so much and have discovered so many incredible musicians and musical performances over these past few weeks,” commented Cheng. “I look forward to returning the Festival and to being part of this inspiring Verbier family.”

Cheng currently pursues his Master’s degree at the Universität der Künste Berlin in the studio of Jens Peter Maintz. He previously studied with cellist and conductor Yuli Turovsky and Hans Jørgen Jensen of Northwestern University.

other academy awards

Each year, a number of additional awards are presented to soloists, ensembles and singers of the Academy who merit recognition or who are in need of nancial help to advance their musical careers. The recipients are decided by the Director of the Academy after observation of musicians during their time in Verbier and through consultation with Academy faculty. 

Prix Jean-Nicolas Firmenich
CHF 10,000 for a cellist
Stéphanie Huang Age 26, Belgium 

The Tabor Foundation Award
CHF 10,000 shared between two pianists 
Giovanni Bertolazzi  Age 24, Italy
Misi Boros  Age 19, Hungary 

Prix Thierry Mermod
CHF 10,000 shared between two singers
Sofie Lund soprano (Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel) Age 28, Denmark
Dennis Chmelensky baritone (Peter, Hänsel und Gretel) 27 ans, Allemagne
Celine Mun soprano  (Sandmännchen in Hänsel und Gretel) Age 29, South Korea 

CHF 3,000 for an Academy musician who contributes to the spirit of the Verbier Festival through a commitment to community and public engagement.  
Pieter van Loenen violin Age 29, Netherlands

Prix Rotary
CHF 5,000 for a young Swiss musician awarded Rotary Club Verbier-St-Bernard
Charlotte Bernhard violin (Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra) Age 18, Sion, Switzerland