The Moldovian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja has won the "Young Artist Award" given annually by the Credit Suisse Group.
Kopatchinskaja, who will be performing as a soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at next year's Lucerne International Music Festival, was chosen by a jury chaired by festival director Michael Haefliger.
The award is worth SFr75,000 ($45,800).
Born in 1977, she is the daughter of musicians and began studying violin and piano at the age of six. She later continued her studies in Vienna and Bern, receiving other prestigious awards in the process.
Kopatchinskaja has already performed as a soloist in leading US and European concert halls. Her special interest, she says, is new music, and while recognised as an accomplished interpreter of classic works by 19th century composers, she also enjoys giving improvised performances.
These have included the creation of "musical situations" with texts and poems as well as at art exhibitions.
Critics have described her as being part of a new musical generation. One wrote of her "passion without compromise", while others have noted a tendency to "exaggerate" or even shock the audience.
Kopatchinskaja says that while respecting composer and composition, her aim is always to "make music happen afresh" and "out of the moment".
In compliance with the JTI standards