Thomas D. Meier, what is an Honorary Companion?

ZHdK wishes to publicly honour personalities associated with the University and who have rendered outstanding services to its interests or who have made outstanding achievements at a young age. We have therefore been awarding the honorary titles of “Honorary Companion” (in acknowledgement of longstanding service) and “Companion” (for outstanding achievements at a young age) since 2017.

The first Companion was conferred in the autumn of 2017: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, a “born conductor” (Die Zeit), has already achieved many amazing things as a young woman. At less than thirty years of age, Ms. Gražinytė-Tyla, a graduate of Johannes Schlaefli’s conducting class, was appointed Music Director of the
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2016, following in the footsteps of famous colleagues. She describes Johannes Schlaefli’s classes “as a revelation.”

Who will become ZHdK’s inaugural Honorary Companion? The history of ZHdK and its predecessor institutions goes back to the 19th century. It has brought forth many acclaimed artists, graphic designers, musicians, filmmakers, dancers, theatre artists, and a famous clown. The names of eminent personalities whose works are shaping cultural, educational, and research life at home and abroad make up a lengthy list. We will be honoured to soon welcome one of these eminent personalities and to confer the Honorary Companion in recognition of his or her achievements.

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