The Verbier Festival’s Artist Training Programmes set the world standard for top-level training of exceptionally talented young classical soloists, orchestral and chamber musicians, singers and conductors. Their reputation has grown to such a level that a record 1,664 applicants aged 13 to 35 applied to its Academy (VFA), Orchestra (VFO) and Junior Orchestra (VFJO) programmes in 2019.


The VFA offers an opportunity for soloists, chamber musicians, singers and conductors to fine-tune their talents through masterclasses, private coachings, professional development workshops and performances over three weeks every summer. This year, 64 musicians have been selected for the Academy’s instrumentalist, voice and conducting programmes. Instrumentalists and conductors were selected through a video selection process by a panel of anonymous musicians and experts in the musical world. Singers were auditioned live in Berlin, London and New York.

Eight instrumentalists have been chosen for each of the VFA’s piano, violin, viola and cello programmes and two string quartets have been selected for its chamber music programme. Soloists who will be aged 16 to 28 during the Academy were eligible to apply. Four musicians aged 13 to 15 have also been accepted as ‘Students-in-Residence’. These very young promising musicians attend masterclasses, rehearsals and performances and, when possible, have classes with Academy faculty.

The Atelier Lyrique, which combines the study and performance of opera and song, has accepted 13 singers and, new this year, one collaborative pianist. The Atelier Lyrique singers will conclude their studies with a semi-staged performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) with the VFJO led by conductor Stanislav Kochanovsky.

After a successful pilot programme in 2018, the VFA’s Conducting Mentorship Programme—created upon the arrival of Valery Gergiev as Music Director of the VFO—received more than 100 applicants for four positions. The young conductors will be mentored by Maestro Gergiev and by the Festival’s distinguished guest conductors.

Regular visiting Academy faculty, including Sergei Babayan (piano), Pamela Frank (violin), Frans Helmerson (cello), Thomas Quasthoff (Atelier Lyrique), András Schiff (piano and chamber music) and Gábor Takács-Nagy (chamber music), are joined by new faces in 2019, including pianists Joaquín Achúcarro and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, and violinist Kristóf Baráti. The Academy also welcomes back pianist Ferenc Rados, violinist Donald Weilerstein, cellist Jiang Wang, singer Thomas Hampson, and Academy alumnus Lawrence Power (viola).

Academy masterclasses begin July 17 and continue through August 1, 2019. Most of the nearly 100 classes are open to the public and there is no cost to attend. Academy musicians also perform daily free ‘spotlight’ showcase concerts at the Verbier Cinema from July 23 to 27 and from July 29 to August 1. See for complete masterclass and spotlight concert listings. Tickets to the Academy’s four final concerts (Song on July 28, chamber music on August 2 and 3, and opera on August 3) can be purchased through the Festival’s Box Office. Visit for details.

The Festival welcomes back the following Academy alumni to perform at its 2019 edition: Renaud Capuçon, María Dueñas, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Yoav Levanon, George Li, Lawrence Power, Quatuor Arod, Quatuor Ébène and Louis Schwizgebel.


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