BIOGRAPHY
Valentine Michaud is a saxophonist who was born in France in 1993 and has lived in Switzerland since 2010. Her repertoire encompasses a wide range of styles, including contemporary works, baroque and classical transcriptions, and improvisation, all of which she performs with passion. Aiming to bring her instrument to a wider audience, promoting its largely unknown repertoire, and helping to create new works in innovative formats are some of her key values as an artist, along with enthusiasm and curiosity for exploring different horizons.

Valentine has been awarded numerous prizes at international competitions. In 2016, she won first prize at the Jurjans Andrejs VI Woodwind International Competition in Riga (Latvia) and the Prix Credit Suisse at Lucerne Festival, while her duo Akmi with pianist Akvilé Sileikaité received first prize at the renowned Orpheus Swiss Chamber Music Competition. Since 2015, she has been supported by prestigious Swiss grants such as the Leenaards foundation cultural grant and Migros’ Pour-Cent Culturel, which saw her added to their concert management programme in 2016.

Concerts and projects around the world…

A passionate believer in the richness of collaborations between different artistic forms, Valentine is one of the founding members of GLITCH, a spectacle performed by a painter, two dancers, two saxophonists and live electronic effects, which premiered at the Theater der Künste in Zurich in 2016.

She performs regularly as a soloist, in chamber music groups and in orchestras on some of the most prestigious stages in the world: Great Guild Hall, Riga; Gnessin Academy, Moscow; Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna; Philharmonie Hall, Odessa; Esplanade, Singapore; Tonhalle, Zurich; and in Lausanne, her home town, at the Festival Bach, Festival de la Cité, Lavaux Classics, the Opera of Lausanne… In 2016, she had the opportunity to perform with the Mariinsky Orchestra directed by Valery Gergiev and the Orchestre des Continents under Thierry Fischer, as well as a solo performance with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.

From the Atlantic to Lake Geneva: the journey of an inquisitive student

Valentine began her studies in Nantes following the French school of saxophone with Joël Hérissé, before moving to Switzerland at the age of 16 to study with Pierre-Stéphane Meugé at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne. She is interested in both contemporary repertoire and works from older periods such as baroque and renaissance. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in saxophone in 2013, while simultaneously studying for a Bachelor’s degree in musicology at Sorbonne University in Paris. After completing her first Master’s degree in instrumental pedagogy, she continued her training in 2015 with a second Master’s degree specialising in solo performance with Lars Mlekusch at the Zurich University of the Arts.

An eclectic education

The daughter of two graphic designers, Valentine chose the saxophone at eight years of age and began learning with Slava Kazykin, who introduced her to klezmer music at a very early stage, as well as to ensemble practice and to appearing on stage (concerts in Kiev in 2006). Two years later, Valentine started studying piano with Ludmila Zvaitseva, and then with Colette Musquer at the Nantes Conservatoire, before completing her studies with Marja-Liisa Marosi at the conservatoire in Lausanne. While she was a member of Jean-Marie Bellec’s jazz class in Nantes, she co-founded the jazz quintet Penta Tonik, which performed at several venues in France between 2006 and 2010 (including Europa Jazz, Rendez-vous de l’Erdre and Jazz in Marciac). These experiences confirmed her taste for performing in groups and her love of the stage.

The dynamic and generous young saxophonist now teaches at several music schools in the Canton of Vaud and passes on her passion to other young musicians at instrumental training courses such as the saxophone camp Sax Up, which was founded in 2015.