THE SCOOP | Canadian Cellist Bryan Cheng Awarded Verbier Festival Academy’s Prix Yves Paternot

By Anya Wassenberg on August 2, 2022

Bryan Cheng (Photo: Studio 1520)
Bryan Cheng (Photo: Studio 1520)

Canadian cellist Bryan Cheng has been awarded the Verbier Festival Academy’s Prix Yves Paternot for 2022. The Prix is awarded to recognize the “most accomplished and promising musician” who is enrolled in the Verbier Festival Academy that year.

The Festival Academy, part of the annual classical music festival held in Verbier, Switzerland, is widely considered to be a springboard to international recognition for younger musicians. Previous alumni have included cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, pianist Kirill Gerstein, the Danish String Quartet, and Quatuor Ébène, among many other international success stories.

Bryan Cheng

At 25, Bryan Cheng has amassed an impressive record of career milestones, and maintains a busy performing schedule along with his studies.

  • Held his sold-out Carnegie Hall recital debut at age 14;
  • Debuted at the prestigious Elbphilharmonie debut in 2018 with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen;
  • Studied with cellist and conductor Yuli Turovsky and Hans Jørgen Jensen of Northwestern University;
  • Second Prize and the Audience Prize at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2021;
  • Sixth Laureate at the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Brussels) and First Prize winner at the UNISA International Strings Competition in Pretoria (South Africa) — both in 2022.

  • He has made his debut at the Musical Olympus Festival with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Festival de Lanaudière with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal;
  • He’s performed with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande at Victoria Hall, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Stadtorchester, and many Canadian orchestras across the country;
  • In 2017, he toured Canada coast-to-coast Canadian with the National Youth Orchestra as 2017, winning the Michael Measures Award that year.

In the 2022/23 season, he’ll be making his debut with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

On loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank, and as First Laureate of their 2018 Competition, Cheng plays the ca. 1696 Bonjour Stradivari cello and the ca. 1830 Shaw Adam bow.

Cheng commented in a media release.

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

Along with his performing schedule, Cheng is currently working towards his Master’s degree at the Universität der Künste Berlin in the studio of Jens Peter Maintz.

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