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Valentine Michaud

Valentine Michaud is a French saxophonist born in 1993 and established in Switzerland since 2010. Winner of numerous awards, including the Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes (2017) and the Jurjans Andrejs VI Woodwind International Competition, Valentine won the prestigious Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2020, given for the first time to a wind instrument.

The first saxophonist soloist to perform with the Vienna Philharmonic, the 2022-23 season will see Valentine's debut with the orchestra under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Lucerne Festival, where she will perform the world premiere of Anders Hillborg's saxophone and orchestra version of Peacock Tales. This season will also see Valentine's debuts at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Folle Journée de Nantes, and with the Wellington Orchestra performing John Psathas' Zahara saxophone concerto.
Recent concert highlights include debuts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko performing Glazunov's saxophone concerto, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande with conductor Maxime Pascal performing John Adams' saxophone concerto, and Valentine's debut in the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra's recital series.
Valentine has performed as a soloist and chamber musician on many prestigious stages, including the KKL Luzern, London's Wigmore Hall, St. Petersburg's Grand Philharmonic Hall, the Wiener Konzerthaus, Zurich's Tonhalle, Geneva's Victoria Hall, and Riga's Great Guild Hall, among others.

Convinced of the richness of collaborations with other artistic forms and seeking to develop new concert formats, Valentine is co-founder of the collective SIBJA, in which she is the artistic director with her brother Emmanuel Michaud, performs as an instrumentalist and creates the costumes. The collective created the trilogy of shows WAITING FOR AMON, the first part of which, GLITCH, a performance for a painter, two dancers, two saxophonists and live electronics, was created in June 2016 at the Theater der Künste in Zürich. In 2017 the second part CAIRNS for a performer and saxophone quartet is created. The last part of the trilogy, SHOUT, for solo saxophone and performer, is created in March 2018. The tryptic is awarded in 2018 by the Nico Kaufmann Foundation (Zürich) grant. In 2020, Sibja directs the film BOTH-The Dialogue of the Double Shadow.

Her duo Akmi, with pianist partner Akvilé Sileikaité, received the Swiss Ambassador Award 2019, as well as 1st Prize at the renowned Orpheus Swiss Chamber Music Competition in 2016 and 2nd Prize at the Salieri Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in 2018. Together, the two musicians have performed at the Lucerne Festival, Festival Radio France Montpellier, Wigmore Hall in London, Cappella St. Petersburg among others. They regularly commission works from young composers and are about to record their first duo compact disc.
Wishing to contribute to the renewal of the repertoire for her instrument, she collaborates with composers whose works she regularly creates (Anders Hillborg, Kevin Juillerat, Raphaël Sévère, Alvin Lucier, Léo Collin, Jean-Baptiste Robin, Jesper Nordin, Ernest H. Papier, etc.).

After studying in Nantes in the tradition of the French saxophone school (class of Joël Hérissé), Valentine moved to Switzerland at the age of 16 to study with Pierre-Stéphane Meugé at the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne, where she became interested in the contemporary repertoire and early music (baroque, renaissance). She obtained a Bachelor's degree in saxophone in 2013, while completing a Bachelor's degree in musicology at the Sorbonne University in Paris. After a first master's degree in instrumental pedagogy, she continues her training with a second master's degree from 2015, this time in the soloist orientation, in the class of Professor Lars Mlekusch at the Zurich University of the Arts, where she then becomes an assistant until 2019. Since 2017 she teaches at the Conservatoire Populaire de Musique, Danse et Théâtre de Genève.

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