With this award, the ZHdK honors personalities who have made a special contribution to the interests and fields of activity of the university. The title "Honorary Companion" honors outstanding achievements of a long-standing career.

Thomas D. Meier, what is a Honorary Companion?

The ZHdK wants to pay tribute to its affiliated personalities who have rendered outstanding services to the interests of the university or who have rendered outstanding achievements at a young age. Therefore, since 2017 she has been awarded the honorary title "Honorary Companion" (for many years) and "Companion" (for outstanding achievements at a young age).

ZHdK awarded its first companion in the autumn of 2017: the "born conductor" ("Die Zeit") Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla has done amazing things as a young woman. At the age of thirty, Johannes Schlaefli, a graduate of the conducting class, was appointed Chief Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2016, following in the footsteps of famous colleagues. She says, "The time in the class of John Schlaefli [...] was a kind of revelation to me."

And who will become the first Honorary Companion? The history of the ZHdK and its predecessor institutions dates back to the 19th century. From her, numerous new artists, graphic artists, filmmakers, filmmakers, dancers, theater makers and a famous clown have emerged in their field. The names of those who are currently shaping the national and international cultural, educational and research landscape with their work are numerous. It will also be an honor for us to welcome one of these important personalities in the near future and to honor with the Honorary Companion.

Prof. Dr. Thomas D. Meier is a historian and rector of the Zurich University of the Arts.