Ava Dodd, a 25-year-old 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.

Ava Dodd is a member of the Stadttheater Klagenfurt ensemble where her roles in the 2022/23 season included Waldvögel (Siegfried), Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Mirjam (HIOB), and the soprano solos in Carmina Burana. In concert, she has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, RTE Concert Orchestra, Der Nürnberger Symphoniker, Das Kärntner Sinfonieorchester, and the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. In competition, she was a dual prizewinner in the final of the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition (2022). She completed her bachelor’s degree at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where she studied with Mary Brennan, and went on to complete a master’s degree at the Royal College of Music in London with Janis Kelly.

Dodd will perform the role of Anne Trulove in Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress on the Festival’s closing day, featuring the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra and its Music Director, James Gaffigan.

This 30th edition of the Verbier Festival is made possible with the support of many philanthropic, corporate and public funders, notably Aline Foriel-Destezet, The Friends of the Verbier Festival, the Festival’s major donors, including its Chairman’s Circle, the Commune de Val de Bagnes, Loterie Romande, Canton du Valais, its loyal Principal Sponsors, Bank Julius Baer and SICPA, and its Anniversary Sponsor, Rolex.