Meigui Zhang, a 25-year old Chinese soprano, 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.
Meigui Zhang earned her master's degree from the Mannes School of Music in New York and completed her bachelor's degree at Shanghai Conservatory and Sichuan Conservatory. She now lives in New York where she is part of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She makes her Metropolitan Opera debut in the role of Bloody Child in Macbeth in October and later this season sings Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro. She concludes her three weeks at the Verbier Festival by singing the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflote on the Festival's mainstage at Salle des Combins on the closing afternoon of the Festival.
"Meigui is an undeniable talent with remarkable potential," said Academy Director Stephen McHolm. "She joins the ranks of outstanding young talents who have become ambassadors for both the Verbier Festival and its Academy: baritone Milan Siljanov (2016); mezzo-soprano Adele Charvet (2017), and violinist Timothy Chooi (2018)."
"I am honoured to receive this award and look forward to returning to Verbier as a member of the Festival's family in future summers," responded Zhang upon receiving the award.