Curriculum vitae

“Tonight, I felt that sublimely played music elicits the same feeling in the heart as does the presence of a Love, it simply brings the greatest happiness on earth”

Valeriya Bernikova was born on June 26, 1987 into a family of musicians in Poltava (Ukraine). At a young age, she won already competitions and played solo, with orchestras and in Big Band concerts. She graduated with distinction as a Saxophone major and a conducting minor from the Music College in her hometown. At the same time she studied German language and literature through distance learning at the Charkower Karasin-University, and graduated in 2012 as well with distinction.

In 2008 Valeriya Bernikova passed her entrance exams at the Zürich Hochschule der Künste (Zurich High School of the Arts) in Zürich, Switzerland, and was admitted to the saxophone class of Jean-Georges Koerper. During her studies she conducted two wind bands in Kemptthal, Bassersdorf ( and Seuzach ( and led saxophone groups of other orchestras.
She showed the diversity of expression of historic saxophones in her Bachelor Project „Marcel Mule und Sigurd Rascher: Pioniere des klassischen Saxophons“ (June 2011) which she completed with distinction. This was followed by her Master studies with a focus on pedagogy. Valeriya Bernikova passed these exams with the note “very good” and teaches now privately and as substitute teacher. Valeriya performed the saxophone programme “Her Majesty, Sonata” at her final Masters examination in December 2013, receiving the highest mark possible and graduated from her Master studies with honours. Edvard Moritzs “Trio Sonata” for Saxophone, Violin and Piano was the premiere Swiss performance of the piece at her exam!
During the last few years Valeriya Bernikova has played successfully in various prestigious competitions in France, German, Italy and Switzerland and took part in famous masterclasses for saxophone in Boswil (CH), Gap (FR), Amsterdam (NL) and other countries. Valeriya is passionately devoted to her career as a soloist and has a broad spectrum of interpreting possibilities. She often performs as a soloist in churches with solemn Baroque music and specializes on music from the Impressionist and Romantic eras with such programmes as “French Charm” (original works by French composers for the saxophone). Valeriya Bernikova is fascinated with the sound world of contemporary music where the saxophone, with its unusual effects and colour palette, appears in a new dimension for listeners.
Valeriya Bernikova also plays regularly in various, high-level chamber music groups. The saxophone quartet Strax Bravura (, which she co-founded with her colleagues from the 2011 graduating saxophone class of ZHdK (Zürich), has gone on to become a professional group, performing regularly at both public and private concerts.

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