Exclusive: Giovanni Antonini, conductor
In a short series, we ask our artists what they think about our motto “Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes”
What does nature mean to you?
I grew up in Milan. Nature is more like a dream for me. I don’t even know the names of famous trees, except of course the olive tree and the pine. But it would be nice to know more about nature.
In Klosters you will conduct Joseph Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation”. What is your favorite natural sound in it – and why?
“Das Gewürm” is a great passage in Raphael’s recitative. But above all, I really like when the flutes imitate the birds’ voices, as in Gabriel’s aria “Auf starkem Fittiche schwinget sich der Adler stolz.”
What do you associate with Klosters and its alpine landscape?
Actually, mountains don’t mean much to me, but maybe that will change in the summer in Klosters. I love the sea above all.
You were born in Milan. Are you a city kid or a country boy?
I’m definitely a city boy!
Livestream Concert: Haydn’s “Il Maestro di scuola”
Recording from May 19, 2023, Don Bosco Basel
As a small foretaste of this summer, we would like to recommend last weekend’s concert with the Basel Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Giovanni Antonini.
In the heart of the action
Klosters Music presents a family concert for the first time in the old school building – the “Carnival of the Animals”.
Camille Saint-Saëns composed the “Carnival of the Animals” with a house concert in mind. The “great zoological fantasy”, as he humorously called this work for instrumental ensemble and two pianos, which premiered in Paris on 9 March 1886, was, in his eyes, too popular for an established classical concert audience. Saint-Saëns was afraid this could lose him his reputation as a serious composer. But there are reasons why this witty, humorous, accessible composition became his best-known ever. Klosters Music deliberately chose the work, which lasts about an hour and is divided into fourteen individual numbers, for its first family concert. “We also want to inspire children and young people with classical music. The ‘Carnival of the Animals’ with its great music and funny story outline is ideal for this. And adults will really enjoy this concert too,” says Franziska von Arb, general manager of Klosters Music. It also fits in perfectly with the festival motto ‘Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes’.
The range of musically characterised animals varies from clucking chickens to the swan serenely gliding along, from hopping kangaroos to elephants dancing lethargically. There will even be a whole family of warthogs In the story outline, which will be recited by the Graubünden-based actor Nikolaus Schmid. The Georgian Piano Duo Beraia has been enlisted for the virtuosic piano part. The eight-member instrumental ensemble will be provided by the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Graubünden. “The orchestra has a lot of experience in music education, and family concerts have a firm place in its programme. The ensemble is not afraid of close contact. ‘The music of the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Graubünden is heard in the city and in the countryside, on village squares, in churches and dance halls, for young and old’ – writes the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Graubünden about itself – in order to make the music accessible to as many people as possible,” says von Arb.
The Old Schoolhouse in Klosters has provided the festival with an ideal space for this concert that creates great proximity between the artists and the audience. “In addition to the rows of chairs, we will lay out gymnastic mats at the very front of the stage and set up gymnastic benches to allow children to listen in a relaxed environment. It’s all happening at this concert,” promises the general manager, who will be working closely with the schools and the Prättigau Music School prior to this concert. The children can also draw pictures on the theme, which will be exhibited at the concert in the Old Schoolhouse. “We are very excited about this premiere. We will definitely be offering a family concert again next year,” says Franziska von Arb. “At Klosters Music, we want to break down barriers, making classical music appealing to everyone and at the same time pass on our enthusiasm.”
Monday, July 31, 2023, 5:00 pm, Altes Schulhaus, Klosters
Kammerphilharmonie Graubünden, Natia & Tamar Beraia (pianos), Nikolaus Schmid (narrator)
Camille Saint-Saëns (“The Carinval of the Animals” for two pianos, Instrumental ensemble and a narrator)
Nimble tigers and crawling worms
In our series “Nature in Music”, Georg Rudiger takes a closer look. Today: Joseph Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation”
At the beginning, a big bang: a single, cutting note in the whole orchestra, which is further hardened by the timpani roll. Then muted strings intensify the uncertainty with chromaticism and dissonance. “The description of chaos” is what Joseph Haydn called the effective beginning of his three-part oratorio “The Creation”. The musical elements are scattered, the harmonies contradictory. The music comes to a standstill. “The Earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep,” is how the archangel Raphael describes this state in the recitative that follows. When the softly beginning chorus spreads hope with the words “Let there be light”, a radiant C major sound in fortissimo provides sudden enlightenment.
Lightning, thunder and floods can be heard among the many images of nature in the first part. In the highly dramatic bass aria “Rollend in schäumenden Wellen”, the fast runs of the strings trace the churning sea. In the second part of the oratorio, the music becomes even more tangible. A low-pitched trill in the strings, brass and contrabassoon portrays a lion’s roar; Haydn traces the “limber tiger” with ascending runs. The fast stag is characterised by a bouncy rhythm that also accelerates to a sixteenth. The image of nature is always heard in the music before it appears in the text of the recitative. Haydn even set the neighing of a “noble steed” to music with a gruff trill figure in the strings. The composer manages the buzzing of the insects particularly effectively through the sul ponticello playing of the strings, when the bow is bowed very close to the bridge, thus producing a raspy sound. Finally, the “crawling of the worm”: close alternating notes in a low register. The third part of the oratorio describes Adam and Eve’s happy life together before the expulsion from paradise and culminates in the sublime, exuberantly jubilant chorus “Sing the Lord, ye voices all!”
Sunday, July 30, 2023, 5:00 pm, Concert Hall, Arena Klosters
Giovanni Antonini (conductor), Nikola Hillebrand (soprano), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor), Florian Bösch (baritone), Basel Chamber Orchestra, The Bavarian Radio Chorus
Joseph Haydn (“The Creation”, oratorio in three parts)
Exclusive: Conductor Kevin Griffiths
In a short series, we ask our artists what they think about our motto “Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes”
What was your most impressive experience of nature?
I was very impressed by the vastness of the green steppes in Inner Mongolia. I have rarely felt such a sense of freedom. We rode out on Mongolian horses and had a traditionally prepared, delicious meal in a yurt. An unforgettable journey getting back to the fundamentals of life.
Do you go out into nature to keep active and for the experience or to
find peace and quiet?
Definitely both, it depends on the moment. I love going into the wild to sharpen my survival instincts, to light a fire from scratch with very simple tools, to build a shelter or learn about edible wild plants. There are days when I simply go for a walk to rebalance the mind. In any case, I love connecting with nature.
You come from England. What landscape do you miss when you think
of your homeland?
I miss the rolling green hills, the long, rural, wild hedgerows, brick walls, the idyllic country houses and small towns with their churches and abbeys from the Middle Ages. And of course the windy seasides with their fish and chip shops. All these scenic features have greatly influenced the music of British composers such as Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Edward Elgar.
Waves and spatial sound
In our series “Nature in Music”, Georg Rudiger listens a little more closely: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s concert overture “The Hebrides” op. 26
Travelling broadens the mind. And leaves lasting impressions of nature, as can be heard in Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s music. In the “Italian Symphony”, which featured in the opening concert of Klosters Music last year, the composer took us to the land where the lemons bloom. But Scotland was also one of his travel destinations – the “Scottish Symphony” conveys this. The concert overture “The Hebrides”, which can be experienced this summer in the concert on 5 August with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Tarmo Peltokoski, is also inspired by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s journey to England and Scotland in 1829. On several boat trips to the largely uninhabited Hebridean Islands off the west coast of Scotland, he resolutely experienced the sea with its storms and waves.
The falling main theme of the “Hebrides” overture traces a wave motion in its many repetitions right at the beginning. The following semiquavers in the strings also reflect the ups and downs of the waves. A visit to Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa particularly impressed the composer. The first score of this concert overture was published in 1835 under the title “Fingal’s Cave”. An impression of the large space of this legendary basalt cave and its special acoustics is given at the beginning of the development. Here, three instrumental groups interact with each other at varying volumes: a fanfare in the woodwinds played fortissimo is answered by a very softly played wave motif in the low strings. A shimmering in the violins connects the different elements. The sound becomes a spatial experience. Time stands still.
Gentle and intimate, sassy and spirited
– Sharon Kam says she is just like the clarinet.
The German-Israeli clarinettist, born in Haifa in 1971, will play Mozart’s famous clarinet concerto in Klosters on 5 August 2023 in place of Andreas Ottensamer. Georg Rudiger spoke with her about her musical beginnings in Israel, winning the ARD Music Competition and about a very special instrument.
You made your orchestral debut at the age of 15 with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, which you will play in Klosters on 5 August. And it was with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta. How did this concert with such a renowned orchestra and world-famous conductor come about?
In Israel we have a system like “Jugend musiziert” in Germany, where there are auditions and prizes are awarded to young musicians. Zubin Mehta was always interested in musical talent. I was proposed to him after this competition as a soloist. My mother, who played viola in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, didn’t want to ask him. At the concert, she sat in the audience, as did my teacher, the solo clarinettist of the orchestra. After this, Zubin Mehta invited me again and again.
What memories do you have of this performance?
I was of course nervous and a little afraid whether we would get the right tempo for the rondo finale after the slow movement. We had rehearsed very little. But the attention of the orchestra and the conductor in the concert was so high that I felt incredibly at ease while playing. That’s why I was able to really enjoy the concert.
You didn’t start playing the clarinet until you were 12, having previously played the piano and recorder. That is unusually late. So how did you get so far on your instrument so quickly? Did you practise a lot?
It was love at first sight. I didn’t practise too much, but I could of course already read music, had a perfect ear and had already had some music theory training. I was already a musician, but had not yet found my instrument. With the clarinet, I made progress very quickly.
You have a special relationship with the clarinet. The instrument is your voice, you once said in an interview. Do you also see parallels with your personality?
Absolutely. The clarinet can be gentle and very intimate, but also deliberate and philosophical. But it is also very sassy and spirited, even loud and can sound almost hysterical. It has many facets. These very different ways of producing sounds on the clarinet fit my personality very well. On the recorder, for example, I didn’t have this range of expression.
After studying for four years in New York at the Julliard School, you won the ARD competition in Munich. What role did this important prize play in your great international career?
I already had an agency in New York and had played a few concerts. The ARD International Competition in 1992 was my first competition ever. My teacher Charles Neidich had implored me to take part. When I won 1st prize, I became known in Germany all of a sudden – the prize-winner’s concert with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra was broadcast live on TV on Sunday morning at 11 am, after the “Sendung mit der Maus” (laughs). A lot of people interested in music saw my performance, including agents, artistic directors and concert promoters. The ARD competition opened a big door for me. In addition, the clarinet had already been distinctly introduced as a concert instrument by Sabine Meyer. The audience had an appetite for the instrument. And showed great interest in me and my playing.
In the course of your career you have played with many renowned orchestras such as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig or the London Symphony Orchestra. You are coming to Klosters with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under its first guest conductor Tarmo Peltokoski. What do you associate with this orchestra and its conductor?
I don’t know Tarmo Peltokoski yet – I’m looking forward to the collaboration. I have played with the orchestra a few times, and I also know some of the orchestra members personally. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is a fantastic orchestra, especially for classical repertoire. The orchestra is highly competent in this field. It is very lively and flexible. It will be great fun to play with this ensemble at Klosters Music.
Will you play the Mozart concerto on the basset clarinet for which this concerto is written?
That’s what I intend to do. But the basset clarinet is a very delicate instrument – sometimes the padding of the keys changes, meaning purely technical problems arise. That’s why I also have a normal A clarinet with me for emergencies. But the basset clarinet means that the low notes of the concerto can also be played in the original, which of course makes a difference. In addition to the many timbres that a clarinet has anyway, with the basset clarinet you get a dark baritone range. It’s like a double bass with a fifth string.
The concert is entitled “Distant Landscapes”. This also refers to the adagio from the Clarinet Concerto, which shapes a large space with its wide melodic arches and became known worldwide as the soundtrack to the film “Out of Africa”. What do you feel when you play this adagio?
I don’t think of the film, also because I got to know the play much earlier. I don’t have a concrete image in my head. But I remember a special open-air performance with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn at the Weilburg Castle Concerts at dusk. In the first movement, the birds were still chirping and I was a little worried whether that might interfere with the adagio. But suddenly it became very quiet, the sky dark blue and the audience was completely silent. Playing this adagio in this almost sacred atmosphere in this special setting was deeply touching. I will never forget that moment.
“Distant Landscapes”: Sharon Kam to replace Andreas Ottensamer
Andreas Ottensamer, with great regret, has to withdraw from his performance in Klosters with Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. In his place, we are very pleased to welcome the brilliant Sharon Kam, one of the world’s leading clarinet soloists.
Sharon Kam has been working with renowned orchestras in the United States, Europe, and Japan for over 20 years. Mozart’s clarinet masterpieces have been an object of artistic focus for her since the beginning of her ca-reer. At the age of 16, she performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in her orchestral debut with the Israel Philhar-monic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta. Highlights in the 2022/23 season include concerts with the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, the Orchestre à vent de la Musique de l’ Air, the hr Symphony Orchestra, and concerts with her trio colleagues Enrico Pace and Julian Steckel.
The programme of the concert evening remains unchanged.
Julie Fuchs about her singing technique
In the latest edition of KlickKlack – the music magazine on BR Klasisk with Sol Gabetta – French opera singer Julie Fuchs gives us insights into her singing technique.
You can check out the whole episode here.
In addition, Julie Fuchs can currently be seen at the Zurich Opera House as Juliet in Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette: “You can lose yourself in this soul music and also dream a bit, especially when it’s sung as heartwarmingly as it is here.” NZZ, April 12, 2023
Julie Fuchs can be heard together with the Camerata Salzburg at the opening concert “Joie de Vivre” on July 31, and Sol Gabetta plays together with Veronika Eberle and Antoine Tamestit in “Spirits of Delight” on August 4.
Exclusive: a short interview with violinist Arabella Steinbacher
“Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes” is the theme of Klosters Music 2023. We asked our artists for their thoughts on this.
What does nature mean to you? What do you associate with Klosters and its mountainous landscape?
Spending time in nature is an elixir of life for me, just like music is. I go jogging or for long walks almost every day. I am looking forward to the beautiful surroundings in Klosters which are of course ideal for this – in addition to the musical experience!
“The earth has music for those who listen” – this quote attributed to William Shakespeare inspired David Whelton, the artistic director of Klosters Music, for this year’s programme. What is your “favourite music” in nature?
I love listening to the sound of the water and the leaves in the wind. Every season sounds and smells different. Being aware of this brings me back to myself every time.
Is there a special place in nature for you? A place of longing or refuge?
There are two special places that are worlds apart and yet both belong to me: the area around the Ammersee, where I grew up, and on the other hand my second home Usuki in the southern part of Japan.
Klosters Music presents an additional event:
Thomas Hürlimann reads from his latest novel “The Red Diamond” (July 31).
Literature is included in the programme for Klosters Music as well as music, as was the case last year when Alain Claude Sulzer embarked on a literary-musical journey to 19th century Switzerland together with pianist Oliver Schnyder in the Atelier Bolt. The Swiss writer Thomas Hürlimann will be a guest at the upcoming festival, where he will present and read individual passages from his latest, critically acclaimed work “The Red Diamond” in a conversation with the dramaturge and translator Fedora Wesseler. The autobiographically influenced novel is set in a Swiss convent school called “Maria zum Schnee”. The abbey is reminiscent of the Catholic boarding school in Einsiedeln that Hürlimann himself attended in the 1960s. In this timeless abbey, the view goes into the past, where a mysterious red diamond plays an important role, but also into the future, which blows a breath of fresh air into the old monastery walls. While Arthur, the main character of the novel, follows the trail of the diamond with his friends, the old world collapses around him. “As a carnival of catastrophes, this novel is above all a celebration of the comedic,” enthuses Jochen Hieber in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung about Hürlimann’s book.
The Red Diamond – Reading (in german)
Thomas Hürlimann (writer), Fedora Wesseler (moderation)
Monday, July 31, 7:00 pm, Atelier Bolt, Klosters
Tickets are now available online and at the tourist offices in Klosters and Davos.
It is possible to visit both events of 31 July
«Cuckoo meets Kangoroo» 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Altes Schulhaus
«The Red Diamond» 7:00 pm, Atelier Bolt
Chirping birds and rumbling thunderstorms
In our new series “Nature in Music”, Georg Rudiger takes a closer look. Today: Antonio Vivaldi’s “Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons)“.
“Spring has come, the birds welcome it joyously with cheerful song and the streams flow with gentle babbling in the softly blowing zephyr winds”, writes Antonio Vivaldi in the first stanza of his sonnet “Spring”, which precedes Opus 8/1 with the same name. In the very first solo part, the solo violin is joined by two solo violins, which imitate other bird calls in addition to the trills with rapid alternating notes. The continuous pulse of the movement stops beating here. Nature has its own laws before the ritornello theme returns with the tutti entry and the clearly marked crotchets in the bass. The delicate winds can also be heard in the legato semiquavers of the violins. Suddenly the mood changes when thunder and lightning destroy the idyll in the form of rapid repeated notes in the accompaniment and soaring figures in the solo violin. Vivaldi wrote the individual programmatic references directly into the score – as well as the barking dog in the second movement in the beautifully stolid viola part, over which the solo violin relaxes the wide-stretched cantilena of the sleeping goatherd.
Tired limbs, flies buzzing around
In “summer”, Vivaldi finds even stronger contrasts between calm and excitement. “In the glow of the sun, man and beast grow weary, and the pines wither. The cuckoo raises its voice, and soon the dove and goldfinch join in its song”, are the first lines of the poem. After a gentle introduction in pianissimo, reflecting the summer heat, the solo violin really breaks in with spectacular octave leaps and rapid note repetitions. Storm or hailstorm? That remains open – in any case, there is suddenly a lot of energy in the general weariness. In the second movement, Vivaldi constantly alternates between Adagio and Presto, which musically describes the shepherd’s tired limbs on the one hand and the flies buzzing around on the other. A fiery summer storm with virtuoso runs in the solo violin ends this season.
With chattering teeth
“Autumn” also has its charms with dancing, singing and a jolly hunt. “Winter” shows its prickly side with chattering teeth, fierce ice storms, but also a deep calm in the second movement, in which the pizzicato of the violins imitate raindrops. The German violinist Arabella Steinbacher, together with the Kammerakademie Potsdam, will take the audience by the hand on this walk through the different seasons and will show the various forms and moods nature can develop – and in what an ingenious way Antonio Vivaldi transformed this into music.
Beauty and Fragility
Arabella Steinbacher (violin), Kammerakademie Potsdam
Vivaldi (“The Four Seasons”), Mendelssohn (String Symphony No. 12 in G minor),
Bach (Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major)
Thursday, August 3, 7:00 pm, Concert Hall, Arena Klosters
Exclusive: the artistic director David Whelton in a short interview
“Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes” is the theme of Klosters Music 2023. We asked our artists for their thoughts on this.
What do you associate with Klosters and its surroundings?
David Whelton: The incredible panorama as you travel up the valley with the mountains reaching the sky and, of course, the people.
What is your favourite nature place in Klosters?
DW: Walking on the Gotschna in the summer.
Countryboy oder citykid?
DW: I cannot live without both!
Sea or mountains?
DW: The sea – it’s in my genes!
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Looking forward to the anniversary edition
5 years Klosters Music – Tickets can be purchased now.
Joseph Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation” (30 July) with the Bavarian Radio Chorus and the Basel Chamber Orchestra (conductor: Giovanni Antonini) brings this year’s festival motto “Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes” to life. For artistic director David Whelton, it was important to arrange this special work with an exceptional cast for the fifth anniversary: “Five years after it was established, Klosters Music is a remarkable festival with international appeal. In the words of conductor Pablo Heras-Casado: ‘A real jewel!’ Despite the pandemic, the audience has grown every year – and the artists love coming back,” says David Whelton.
Spectacular arias and a top choir on the opening weekend
The French soprano, Julie Fuchs, will star in the opening concert on 29 July with an opera gala specifically adapted for her. The Camerata Salzburg, making a guest appearance in Klosters for the first time under the Israeli conductor Daniel Cohen, completes the programme with opera overtures and the bright 3rd Symphony in D major by Franz Schubert. “The programme of spectacular arias by her favourite composers Mozart and Rossini is a perfect match for Julie Fuchs’ charismatic personality. I cannot imagine a more exciting programme for the opening of Klosters Music. It really is pure joie de vivre!”, says David Whelton. The festival’s focus on nature is reflected in Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” on 3 August (violin: Arabella Steinbacher, Kammerakademie Potsdam) and Symphony No. 6 “Pastorale” by Ludwig van Beethoven with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (conductor: Tarmo Peltokoski), which is combined with Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (soloist: Andreas Ottensamer) (5 August). With the Stradivarius Trio (Veronika Eberle, Antoine Tamestit, Sol Gabetta) on 4 August and the pianist Sir András Schiff at the closing concert on 6 August, Klosters will have the privilege of welcoming many other great artists.
Celestial fanfares in the church and Roaring Twenties at the film concert
Under the title “Cuckoo meets Kangaroo“, Klosters Music is offering a family concert in the Old Schoolhouse for the first time with the “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns (31.7.). The Graubünden Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, together with the Piano Duo Beraia and actor Nikolaus Schmid (narrator), will bring a range of animals including wild asses, turtles, a swan and a kangaroo to musical life. With Charlie Chaplin’s “The Rink” from 1916, Buster Keaton’s “One Week” (1920) and Laurel and Hardy’s “Big Business” (1929), Klosters Music delves into the fascinating world of the silent film era. In the film evening “Triple Bill“, the City Light Chamber Orchestra dedicates itself live to Carl Davis’ film music in the style of the Roaring Twenties. The concert entitled “Celestial Fanfares” on 2 August in the historic St. Jacob’s Church is quite unique. The trumpeter Immanuel Richter and organist Rudolf Lutz provide baroque splendour along one or two surprises!
The City Light Chamber Orchestra brings silent films by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy to life in Klosters
Film concerts with live music have become a firm favourite at Klosters Music. The premiere took place in 2021 with “Cinema Paradiso” by Sicilian director Giuseppe Tornatore, for which Ennio Morricone composed the music. Last summer, the audience in the sold-out Arena Klosters enjoyed “Singin’ in the Rain” with Gene Kelly dancing and singing in the rain in the lead role and a personal introduction from his wife Patricia Kelly.
Classics of the silent film era
This year, the film evening of the festival is dedicated to three classics of the silent film era by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy on 1st of august. “Music is essential in silent films to create emotionality and to accompany the story being told,” says Artistic Director David Whelton. The film music, performed by the City Light Chamber Orchestra conducted by Kevin Griffiths, is composed by Carl Davis, whom Whelton knows well personally from his time as manager of the Philharmonia Orchestra. “Carl has contributed to a real renaissance of silent film in the UK with his music. He has the most awesome way of capturing the sound of the 1920s.”
Stunts and pirouettes
Pirmin Zängerle, the managing director of City Light Concerts and an expert on film music, is also enthusiastic about the timelessness of the silent films: “The films we have chosen were both innovative and revolutionary at the time they were made. Buster Keaton’s elaborate stunts, for instance, still amaze us today,” says Zängerle. In Buster Keaton’s “One Week” from 1920, a newly married couple receive a peculiar gift from an uncle: a house packed in boxes that the newlyweds assemble themselves within a week, or at least try to. It goes without saying that not every wall sits perfectly in the end. Charlie Chaplin’s early silent film “The Rink” from 1916 is also a virtuosic string of bankruptcies, misfortunes and mishaps. The clumsy waiter, mimed by Chaplin, is only confident on roller skates and inspires with his artful pirouettes that leave an impression on the girl he admires (Edna Purviance).
Christmas trees in summer
In contrast, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are not interested in romance in their 1929 film “Big Business”. The two are selling Christmas trees in California in the summer – not an easy task. When the two end up meeting a particularly unfriendly customer, the situation escalates and the Christmas trees are forgotten about. “Big Business” was one of the last silent films by the comedian duo known in the German-speaking world as “Dick and Doof”. This film will be accompanied in Klosters by a musical trio of violin, clarinet and accordion. What exactly will be played is still under wraps.
Spirit of optimism
Klosters Music celebrates its fifth anniversary at the opening concert with soprano Julie Fuchs and the Camerata Salzburg.
The New Year’s Eve celebrations are only a few weeks behind us. As the champagne corks pop and people wish their nearest and dearest a happy new year, they look to the future with joy and confidence. For a few hours, everyday cares and worries are forgotten as a hope-filled new year begins. “Joie de vivre”, pure joie de vivre. And that is also is the name of the opening concert of Klosters Music on 29 July 2023 with the soprano Julie Fuchs and the Camerata Salzburg. This promises a spirit of optimism and great energy, a reason to celebrate.
The singer’s coloraturas are like champagne pearls: sparkling, stimulating, soaring. After the French singer awed the audience at Klosters Music in 2021 with arias by George Frideric Händel and Antonio Vivaldi, she now returns to the festival two years later with a Mozart-Rossini programme. Her new Mozart album “Amadé”, which was produced together with the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble under the direction of Thomas Hengelbrock, has been widely acclaimed by the press. At the opening concert we can look forward to the cheerful aria “Ach ich liebte, war so glücklich” from the opera “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” (The Abduction from the Seraglio) and the weightless solo motet “Exsultate, jubilate”, in which the singer can demonstrate all her technical and musical brilliance. But Gioachino Rossini’s aria “Una voce poco fa” from his successful opera “Il barbiere di Siviglia” is also spectacular. The Frenchwoman, who grew up in Avignon, can relate to the festival theme “Longing for Nature” in Klosters. “When I was a member of the Zurich Opera House ensemble, I fell in love with Switzerland. I loved exploring different regions and performing in various locations in this beautiful country. The opera houses are usually in the big cities, but I like to be outdoors in nature. So I’m very happy to be in such an idyllic setting in the middle of the mountains and to share the music I love with the audience.”
“Search within yourself. Then you will have something to say.”
The splendour of the high mountains is not far away in Salzburg either and just like at the Landquart, you can experience nature in all its glory along the Salzach. The Camerata Salzburg, founded in 1952 by conductor and musicologist Bernhard Paumgartner, has been dedicated to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from the very beginning. And it has dedicated itself not only to his symphonies, but also to his soloist concertos, for which it has collaborated with such prominent musicians as Clara Haskil, Sir Alfred Brendel and Sir András Schiff. “Making music with individual responsibility and a community spirit” is the credo. The long-time principal conductor Sándor Végh (from 1978 to 1997) coined the phrase: “Search within yourself. Then you will have something to say.” Under Végh, the orchestra was invited to the Salzburg Festival for the first time, where it has long been a regular guest. Today, the outstanding orchestra no longer has a principal conductor, so the musical responsibility lies even more with its members. In Klosters, the Israeli conductor Daniel Cohen leads the orchestra. The general music director of the Staatstheater Darmstadt began his musical career as a violinist in the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra founded by Daniel Barenboim. Cohen has already worked with the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and regularly stands in the orchestra pit in Darmstadt to conduct opera productions. That is why he is just the right person for our opera gala. And we can also look forward to his interpretation of Franz Schubert’s bright Symphony No. 3 in D major, which exudes passion and vibrancy.
Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes
Klosters Music celebrates its 5th anniversary in 2023 with masterpieces, old faithfuls and new exciting personalities
After the “Zeitreise. A Musical Journey” at the last festival, Klosters Music in 2023 is entirely dedicated to nature. Joseph Haydn’s powerful oratorio “The Creation” meets Antonio Vivaldi’s famous violin concertos “The Four Seasons”. Ludwig van Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, also known as “Pastorale” for its musical expressions of nature, is in the same programme as Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s concert overture “The Hebrides”. For artistic director David Whelton, however, the reference to nature goes deeper. “The motto Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes also describes the personal feelings of the audience and the artists when they experience the magnificent Alpine panorama in Klosters”.
Pure joie de vivre
The opening concert (29.7), entitled “Joie de Vivre”, presents the French soprano Julie Fuchs who will celebrate her vocal artistry with arias by Gioachino Rossini and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. She will be accompanied by the Camerata Salzburg conducted by Daniel Cohen. The performance of Joseph Haydn’s large-scale oratorio “The Creation” with the Basel Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Chorus and three vocal soloists under the direction of Giovanni Antonini is the second highlight of the opening weekend (30.7). After her impressive debut with Johannes Brahms’ violin concerto at the last festival, Arabella Steinbacher returns to Klosters with Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” (3.8.). The fact that the Kammerakademie Potsdam accompanying her will also bring Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s String Symphony No. 12 in G minor and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major to Klosters makes the evening a real highlight in the festival programme.
Clarinet happiness and Stradivari sound
Andreas Ottensamer, solo clarinettist of the Berliner Philharmoniker, interprets Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s well-known clarinet concerto (5.8.). The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen by his side has already demonstrated its international class several times at the festival. With its vibrant complete recording of all Beethoven symphonies, the orchestra has enthralled the experts. It will be interesting to see how the Bremen orchestra under the young Finnish conductor Tarmo Peltokoski will bring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastorale” to life. Veronika Eberle, Antoine Tamestit and Sol Gabetta form a string trio in a class of its own. The fact that all three play on valuable instruments from the St. Gallen Habisreutinger Stradivari Foundation makes the concert on 4 August something very special. With the piano recital “At the still point of the turning world” by Sir András Schiff on 6 August, which concludes the festival, Klosters Music continues a precious tradition.
Special concert formats
Klosters Music also offers special concert formats. After the sell-out evenings with “Cinema Paradiso” and “Singin’ in the Rain” in recent years, the festival is again creating a delightful connection between music and film in the coming edition. This time the focus is on three silent films by Charlie Chaplin (including “The Rink”) and Buster Keaton. The City Light Chamber Orchestra brings the fascination of the silent film era back to life with live film music. In the unique ambience of the historic church of St. Jacob, Immanuel Richter (trumpet) and Rudolf Lutz (organ) present “Celestial Fanfares” (2.8.). We can assume that this time too audience requests will be taken into consideration in the organ improvisations. A family concert is on the programme for the first time in the old school building with the “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns (31.7.). The Kammerphilharmonie Graubünden ensures that the musical quality is just right. Because also in its anniversary year 2023 Klosters Music will remain the summit meeting for musical delights.
The ticket pre-order is now possible via order form. The ticket sale online at klosters-music.ch and at the tourist offices Klosters and Davos starts on March 1, 2023. Link to the programme.
Julie Fuchs about the longing of nature
“Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes” is the theme of Klosters Music 2023.
We asked our artists for their thoughts on this.
When do you long for nature?
Julie Fuchs: Always. More and more. This is one of the biggest need I have in my life now. My dose of nature can impact very strongly my physical and mental health. And I hope we can all realize how much taking care of the earth is an emergency for all of us.
What is your favorite “music” in nature?
JF: I am from Provence so for me there is nothing like the song of the cicadas. I even love it during outdoor concerts .
Do you have a special/favorite place in nature?
JF: Alps. I remember so beautiful hikes there. But yes, Provence and it’s light, smells… is my favorite.
Together with the Orchestra La Scintilla Julie Fuchs was on August 3, 2021 in the imposing mountains of Graubünden in “Timeless Splendour“. Here you can listen to the concert recording.
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“We would like to establish Klosters as a cultural destination”
Heinz Brand has lived in Klosters since a child. As president of the Art & Music, Klosters Foundation, the experienced lawyer and politician has played a major role in the success of Klosters Music. In an interview with Georg Rudiger, he reflects, reveals his favourite places in nature and ventures an outlook.
Georg Rudiger: Next year Klosters Music celebrates its fifth anniversary. You have been involved in the Foundation Art and Music Klosters, which organises the festival, from the very beginning: first as vice-president and then as president since the second edition. What are your thoughts and feelings as you look back?
Heinz Brand: I have mixed, but ultimately very positive feelings. The fact that we had to put up with strict restrictions in the middle of the set-up phase due to the Covid pandemic was a big challenge for us, but we got there in the end. The last festival was able to take place under normal conditions again. It was proof that we are on the right track and that our visitors greatly appreciate the Klosters Music concerts. That gives me hope for the future.
What have you achieved so far with Klosters Music?
I think we have created a strong position for ourselves with high-quality concerts in the programme of events in the canton of Graubünden, if not in eastern Switzerland as a whole. Furthermore, we have achieved a high level of acceptance in the village and the region itself, which we must consolidate and expand upon in the future.
The theme of the upcoming festival is “Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes“. What about your personal feeling about nature?
Nature plays an important role in my life. I like to get out into nature and practice a lot of sport. I spend time in nature where possible.
What kind of sport do you do?
In winter I am an avid skier, both cross-country and alpine. With cross-country skiing, I particularly enjoy the physical exercise. In summer I like hiking and mountain biking – without a motor!
How does going out into nature make you feel?
I clear my head when I can look at natural beauty. I forget all the stress of my job. Spending time in nature is an ideal balance for me to the sometimes hectic everyday life at work.
What do you associate with Klosters?
Klosters is a wonderful place because it lies exactly at the intersection between the alpine and the urban world. From Klosters you can get to Zurich or Chur very quickly, but you can also get to the Engadin National Park or the southern valleys of our canton in no time at all.
Where are your favourite places in terms of nature around Klosters?
Vereina is definitely one of my favourite places. There really is still unspoiled nature to experience. And you have a beautiful view of the glacier which is unfortunately melting. I really enjoy mountain biking in the Vereina Valley. The Alpenrösli region, from where you have a wonderful view of large parts of the municipality, is another favourite place for me.
Klosters is primarily known as a winter sports resort. How do you experience nature in Klosters in the other seasons?
I would disagree with this prioritisation. Klosters also has a lot to offer in summer. The other seasons have their appeal too – the mountain spring or autumn with its golden forests.
How important is Klosters Music for the summer in Klosters?
The music festival is of crucial importance, especially because we also want to establish Klosters as a cultural destination and complement the existing offerings. In spring there are the Tastentage (taster days), in summer the jazz concerts and the Genussmeile. And with Klosters Music in the summer we set a real highlight in the community’s calendar of events around the bank holidays. In addition, with the Kulturschuppen we have a facility that offers a varied programme throughout the year.
How do you feel about the future?
I am confident that we will continue to drive the festival forward on the path we have chosen. We can count on the support of the municipality and several private donors. The planned renovation of the arena will also further improve the general conditions for our concerts.
Which concert are you particularly looking forward to at the upcoming festival?
To the oratorio “The Creation” by Joseph Haydn – a truly revolutionary work that particularly characterises our theme “Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes”. For the first time we have a choir in the form of the fantastic Bavarian Radio Chorus and an outstanding conductor in Giovanni Antonini, whom I know personally and hold in very high esteem. I am very excited about this debut.
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“It is an honour for us to have this festival in the village”
Dominik Heeb (born 1989) has been head of Tourism Klosters within the Destination Davos Klosters for just under a year. The sports enthusiast from Switzerland has already been able to provide fresh impetus for tourism as an event manager in Klosters. Georg Rudiger spoke with him about musical experiences, summer tourism and the 800th anniversary of Klosters.
Georg Rudiger: You visited the festival Klosters Music yourself in the summer. Which concerts did you listen to?
Dominik Heeb: I went to the opening concert of the Münchener Kammerorchester under Pablo Heras-Casado and attended the film evening “Singin’ in the Rain” with live music.
And what did you think?
Both concerts were brilliant. It’s been quite a long time since I was at a purely classical concert. Pop music is more my thing, but I was really captivated by the opening concert. “Singin’ in the Rain” was a real cinema experience. I was amazed at how the music of the large symphony orchestra was perfectly coordinated with the film images.
What was your impression of the audience? Was there a different audience at the film concert than at the opening concert?
The audience at the sold-out film concert was somewhat younger than at the opening concert. This may also have had something to do with the 800th anniversary of Klosters in 2022, in the context of which the concert took place. The evening was very fitting for the anniversary with Gene Kelly in the leading role, who was a frequent guest in Klosters in the 1960s and 70s and lived in the Chesa Grischuna, where you can still view the photos from that time of Hollywood on the Rocks. The on the spot introduction by his widow Patricia Kelly also had a strong local connection.
How important is the festival for the tourist resort of Klosters in summer?
In our packed summer of events, Klosters Music is one of the top events.
What other events are there in the summer that bring tourists to the place?
The tennis tournaments have a long tradition and bring great positivity. This year we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the European Junior Championships in Klosters. The nostalgic “Genussmeile” at the end of August also has enormous appeal. But the well-known trail running races such as the Madrisa Trail in Klosters or the Davos X-Trails are also important summer events that are renowned far beyond the region. And of course our guest programme in summer offers countless and diverse adventures with over 60 activities and a total of over 700 runs per summer season, which guests can book for free or at a very fair price.
Klosters has a distinctive winter season, but undoubtedly would like to develop year-round tourism. As the person responsible, how do you see this matter?
Winter is of course still a very important season with all the ski resorts in our region. We already have much to offer over the summer, but there is always room for more. In this respect in particular, Klosters Music is an extremely attractive reason to come to our mountain region in summer as well. It is an honour for us to have this festival in the village.
Are there any overlaps between winter and summer guests – or do guests choose either one or the other?
Those who have a second home in Klosters are definitely with us in Klosters in both summer and winter.
And what about the tourists?
Overall, we position ourselves as a three-generation holiday resort. The whole family should feel at home here, in winter as well as in summer. Trail running, mountain biking, pleasure hiking – and classical music, too.
Next year, Klosters Music will have a family concert for the youngest generation.
Yes, I have heard about it. It fits ideally of course into our three-generation concept.
The last edition of Klosters Music was not only embedded in the 800th anniversary of Klosters with the “Singin’ in the Rain” concert, but also the musical-literary evening by Alain Claude Sulzer and Oliver Schnyder and the concert by Maurice Steger in the historic church of St. Jakob was linked to the history of the place. How satisfied are you overall with the 800th anniversary of Klosters? What did it do to the village?
It has definitely brought the village closer together with the many events. There were many partner events, including Klosters Music, but also many specially developed events that inspired and brought about many things. In the so-called impulse programme of the anniversary, existing projects were taken up and thanks to the support of the municipality brought to fruition. For example, an old forge known as “Schröders Schmiede” was opened on the Rütipromenade. Another highlight of course was the climbing holds on the Sunniberg bridge, which will be very well received in the climbing world as “Sunniberg Climbing” with routes up to 55 m high.
The programme for the next edition of Klosters Music will soon be published. What are your hopes for the festival for the future?
I hope that the steep increase of the last four festival editions will continue. I would also be happy if the local anchoring of the festival would be further strengthened in the future, without neglecting the national and international charisma. We also have ideas on how to strengthen the connection between the festival and us as a tourism office, but I can’t reveal them yet.
More information about all the events in Davos Klosters can be found under www.klosters.ch/events.
Out on the Rigi with the pony – Alain Claude Sulzer’s text “Incognito” by Klosters Music 2022
The evening by Alain Claude Sulzer and Oliver Schnyder (piano) entitled “Travellers– Histories & Stories“ in the packed Atelier Bolt as part of Klosters Music 2022 is still a fond memory. The two artists, who are friends, took the audience on an exciting musical-literary journey into the 19th century. From the texts of Alain Claude Sulzer, we chose his story entitled “Incognito”, which follows the trail of the British Queen Victoria. One hundred years later, members of the British royal family have become regular visitors to Klosters, not least the new British King Charles III.
Inkognito reiste nicht nur die Kaiserin von Österreich, die auf dem mutmaßlich letzten Foto, das während eines Spaziergangs in Genf von ihr und ihrer Begleiterin entstand, so unscheinbar aussieht wie jede beliebige Bürgersfrau der calvinistischen Stadt. Inkognito war zwanzig Jahre zuvor – vom 7.August bis 9. September 1868 – auch die englische Königin Victoria mit drei ihrer neun Kinder in die Schweiz gereist, wo sie einen ganzen Monat in Luzern verbrachte, um von dort aus Touren in alle Himmelsrichtungen zu unternehmen. Inkognito aufzutreten – also unkenntlich zu bleiben – war lange Zeit das Privileg der Könige und Königinnen oder vielmehr: für Könige und Königinnen ein Privileg. Ein Privileg, in dessen Genuss ihre ungleich unbedeutenderen Untertanen tagtäglich kamen.
Wer sein Inkognito wahren wollte, musste sein Gesicht nicht notwendig hinter einer Maske oder einem Schleier verbergen, es genügte, sich durch bescheidene Kleidung verwechselbar zu machen. Während Prominente heute eher darunter leiden, wenn sie in der Menge (und von der Menge) nicht erkannt werden, galt es einst als Luxus der Könige, unerkannt ein Bad in der Menge nehmen zu können.
Erst wenn sie sich unter die Menge mischten (am wirkungsvollsten als Bettler), erfuhren sie, wie es war, Teil der regierten Masse zu sein; dass man dabei erfahren konnte, wie und was das Volk über einen dachte, war ein Nebeneffekt, den der Souverän je nach dem Grad seiner Aufgeklärtheit geniessen oder fürchten mochte.
Solange die hohen Herrschaften – ob Kaiser, Könige, Kalifen, Prinzen oder Prinzessinnen – nicht unter Beobachtung standen, konnten sie tun, was ihnen sonst ein kompliziertes Regelsystem – die höfische Etikette – verwehrte: entweder die Sau rauslassen oder einfach durchatmen und entspannen. Da ihnen die Macht während ihrer Abwesenheit auch entrissen werden konnte, war es allerdings ratsam, den Palästen nicht allzu lange fernzubleiben, ausser sie waren so reizend wie Audrey Hepburn als Kronprinzessin Ann in Billy Wilders Roman Holiday («Ein Herz und eine Krone»), die während ihrer Ferien in Rom höchstens befürchten muss, ihr Herz an Gregory Peck zu verlieren; um die Krone muss sie nicht bangen.
Queen Victoria war zu bekannt, um unerkannt zu bleiben, auch wenn sie nur 1,52 m gross war. In der Menge, wo man sie kaum je antraf, hätte man sie leicht übersehen können, aber wenn sie in ihrer Kutsche fuhr, waren die Insignien unmissverständlich, und auf diese und andere Annehmlichkeit wollte sie nicht verzichten: Sie reiste in Begleitung von drei eigenen Kutschen, Dienern, Gehilfen, Stallburschen und ihrem Bett. Inkognito zu reisen war für sie eine Frage der Sicherheit und mehr noch der Bequemlichkeit. Solange sie nicht in offizieller Mission unterwegs war, musste sie darüber hinaus auch keinen umständlichen und langweiligen Verpflichtungen nachkommen. Sich an der Rezeption als Gräfin von Kent einzutragen bedeutete, eine Art Privatheit geniessen zu können, oder sich zumindest zeitweise dieser Illusion hingeben zu wollen. Wenn sie nicht als Queen of Great Britain and Ireland reiste, musste sie weder Bürgermeister noch Bundesräte empfangen oder andere gekrönte Häupter treffen, die sich und ihr Nachleben nur zu gern mit ihrem Namen geschmückt hätten; wir können allerdings davon ausgehen, dass die Hoteldiener und Hoteliersgattinnen, vielleicht sogar die eine oder andere Sennerin nichtsdestotrotz einen tiefen Diener machte, sich verbeugte oder knickste, wenn die Queen ihre Wege kreuzte, auch wenn diese Art der Ehrerbietung in der Schweiz nie so verbreitet war wie etwa in Deutschland, wo man dem Handkuss da und dort noch heute begegnen kann.
Als Königin inkognito in Luzern zu logieren, hiess nicht, dass man von ihrer Anwesenheit nichts wusste, es besagte nur, dass sie wünschte, in Ruhe gelassen zu werden. Und Ruhe war, wofür die Schweiz schon damals bürgte. Ruhe bedeutete, dass man die kleine englische Queen nicht belästigte, wenn sie auf ihrem Pony auf die Rigi ritt, eine Bootsfahrt auf dem Vierwaldstättersee unternahm oder auf der Seebodenalp Tee trank und alpenländische Natur zeichnete; genauso konnten sich auch ein paar Generationen später die Mitglieder der englischen Königsfamilie in Klosters, Hemingway in Montreux, Richard Strauss in Sils Maria, Marcello Mastoianni in Verbier oder Angela Merkel in Pontresina darauf verlassen, nicht ständig von Einheimischen oder anderen Touristen belästigt zu werden – Ungemach bereiteten im Fall der Royals in späteren Jahren eher Paparazzi als neugierige Dorfbewohner.
Queen Victoria wohnte übrigens nicht in einem der zahlreichen Hotels, die ihren Namen trugen, denn diese gab es damals noch gar nicht, auch nicht im Hotel Englischer Hof, der 1855 eröffnet worden war, sondern in der überaus noblen, etwas abgelegenen Privatpension Wallis auf dem Gütsch. Die Aussicht von Luzerns Hausberg war «wunderschön mit dem See – Pilatus, der Rigi usw. – ich kann meinen Augen kaum trauen, wenn ich mir das ansehe! Es wirkt wie ein Gemälde oder eine Verzierung – ein Traum!»
Löwendenkmal, Pilatus, Gotthardpass, Teufelsbrücke und Schöllenenschlucht waren von hier aus ebenso leicht erreichbar wie der Vierwaldstättersee, wo Victoria zu jeder Zeit das Dampfschiff Winkelried zur Verfügung stand, und auch die Hohle Gasse zu Küssnacht, in der Tells Geschoss den Habsburger Vogt Gessler tödlich getroffen hatte, war gut zu erreichen. Als Victoria mit ihrem Gefolge auf den Furkapass reiste, nahm die Gesellschaft das einzige Gasthaus in Beschlag, was andere Reisende so erzürnte, dass sie wütende Leserbriefe an den Berner «Bund» richteten. Es dürfte sich dabei um ausländische Touristen gehandelt haben.
Darüber, ob die Königin, die noch immer um ihren sieben Jahre zuvor verstorbenen Mann Albert trauerte, nach ihrem Besuch in der Schweiz tatsächlich aufgeblüht oder weiterhin untröstlich geblieben sei, gehen die Meinungen auseinander. Die getrocknete Alpenrose, die er ihr als junger Mann vor der Hochzeit aus der Schweiz geschickt hatte, wollte zwar nicht mehr erblühen, aber beim Anblick der Blume, die sie wie eine Reliquie hütete, mochte sie sich für einen Augenblick dort mit ihm vereint glauben, wo sie nie zusammen gewesen waren. So jedenfalls mögen es jene sehen, die sich gern in die Gefühle gekrönter Häupter und ihrer Entourage versenken.
Die «Witwe von Windsor», deren «schlichte Bekleidung» und «bescheidenes Betragen» bei den Schweizern so gut ankam, trug jedenfalls auch weiterhin schwarz, was damals nicht nur bei Witwen ja an der Tagesordnung war (auch Elisabeth von Österreich trug auf ihrem letzten Foto schwarz, wenngleich sie nicht in Trauer war.)
© Alain Claude Sulzer / private use only
new released: Alain Claude Sulzer: Doppelleben, Galiani Verlag Berlin 2022.
Nature itself becomes the theme of Klosters Music 2023.
Haydn’s tremendous oratorio “The Creation”, brought to life by the Basel Chamber Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Chorus (conductor: Giovanni Antonini), meets Vivaldi’s famous violin concerto “The Four Seasons”. Also, Beethoven’s “Pastorale” can be experienced with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (soloist in this concert: Andreas Ottensamer, clarinet). Klosters Music welcomes back Sir András Schiff and Sol Gabetta. Together with Veronika Eberle and Antoine Tamestit, the cellist forms a string trio in a class of its own. A highlight right at the very start: the opening concert with soprano Julie Fuchs (opera arias by Rossini and Mozart’s “Exsultate, jubilate”) and the Camerata Salzburg. And, the 1 August will again hold a surprise.
Reserve the dates for Klosters Music today: Saturday 29 July to Sunday 6 August 2023. The exact programme will be published on 9 December. From that point on advance orders can be made via the flyer. The online ticket sales starts on 1 March 2023.
Members of the Patrons’ Association will be sent information about the concerts at an early stage and will have the opportunity to reserve their concert tickets before they officially go on sale. Become a member now.
«Wir sind angekommen»
Die vierte Ausgabe von Klosters Music («Zeitreise. A Musical Journey») ging am Sonntagabend mit einem Klavierrezital von Sir András Schiff zu Ende. Das neuntägige Festival feiert einen neuen Besucherrekord.
«Klosters Music 2022 war wirklich ein Gipfeltreffen für musikalischen Hochgenuss. Die grossartigsten Künstlerinnen und Künstlern kamen hier zusammen, um den 800. Geburtstag der Gemeinde mit wunderbaren Konzerten zu feiern», sagt David Whelton, künstlerischer Leiter des Festivals. Mit deutlich über 3‘000 Zuhörerinnen und Zuhörern bei insgesamt neun Konzerten (drei davon komplett ausverkauft) feierte das Festival in seiner vierten Ausgabe einen neuen Besucherrekord.
Stiftungsratspräsident Heinz Brand zieht nach dem enthusiastisch aufgenommenen Abschlusskonzert von Sir András Schiff ein überaus positives Fazit: «Klosters Music hat die gesamte Region begeistert. Nach den letzten Jahren, die durch Corona-bedingte Einschränkungen geprägt waren, konnten wir in diesem Jahr wieder ungetrübten Musikgenuss erleben.» Auch für Geschäftsführerin Franziska von Arb war die vierte Festivalausgabe ein voller Erfolg: «Wir sind angekommen und haben in Klosters Wurzeln geschlagen. Unser Publikum möchte Klosters Music nicht mehr missen und wartet schon gespannt auf die nächste Ausgabe im Jahr 2023, die unter dem Motto ‚Natur‘ stehen wird.»
Feuer und Leidenschaft prägten das Eröffnungskonzert, in dem der spanische Dirigent Pablo Heras-Casado und das Münchener Kammerorchester Rossinis Ouvertüre zu «Wilhelm Tell» und Mendelssohn Bartholdys «Italienische Sinfonie» zum Ereignis machten. Eine andere Farbe brachte das Septett Philharmonix mit seinem virtuosen, humorvollen Crossover-Abend am Nationalfeiertag ins Programm. Das Konzert mit dem Mozarteumorchester Salzburg unter der Leitung von Patrick Hahn mit der Geigerin Arabella Steinbacher, die Johannes Brahms‘ Violinkonzert interpretierte, zeigte exemplarisch, wofür Klosters Music steht: künstlerische Exzellenz in persönlicher Atmosphäre und einer idyllischen Umgebung.
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“We have arrived”
The fourth edition of Klosters Music (“Zeitreise. A Musical Journey“) came to an end on Sunday evening with a piano recital by Sir András Schiff. The nine-day festival celebrates a new record number of visitors.
“Klosters Music 2022 was truly a summit meeting for musical delights. The greatest artists came together here to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the village with wonderful concerts,” says David Whelton, artistic director of the festival. With an audience of well over 3,000 at a total of nine concerts (three of which were completely sold out), the festival celebrated a new record number of visitors in its fourth edition.
After the final concert by Sir András Schiff which was a resounding success, Heinz Brand, President of the Foundation, draws an extremely positive conclusion: “Klosters Music has enthralled the entire region. After the last few years, which were defined by Corona-related restrictions, we were able to experience unadulterated musical enjoyment again this year.” For managing director Franziska von Arb, the fourth festival edition was also a huge success: “We have arrived and put down roots in Klosters. Our audience does not want to miss Klosters Music and is already eagerly awaiting the next edition in 2023, which will be entitled ‘Nature’.”
Fire and passion characterised the opening concert, in which the Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado and the Münchener Kammerorchester made the event un unforgettable occasion with Rossini’s Overture to “William Tell” and Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s “Italian Symphony”. The Philharmonix septet brought a different colour to the programme with its virtuoso, humorous crossover evening on National Day. The concert with the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg conducted by Patrick Hahn with violinist Arabella Steinbacher interpreting Johannes Brahms’ violin concerto exemplified what Klosters Music stands for: artistic excellence in a personal atmosphere in an idyllic setting.
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“We are on the right track”
Christian Bolt lives as a sculptor and painter in Klosters. Born in Uster (Canton Zurich) in 1972, he is an honorary professor at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence. His most recent publication is entitled “Existenz und Verifikation” [Existence and Verification] (Verlagshaus Seidel & Schütz 2021). Georg Rudiger spoke with the member of the “Art & Music, Klosters Foundation“ about special places, his Steinböckli [ibex] sculpture and about the future of Klosters Music.
This summer you hosted the musical-literary evening entitled “Travellers – Histories & Stories“ along with the author Alain Claude Sulzer and the pianist Oliver Schnyder. Were you pleased with the evening?
I was of course very curious to see how music and the spoken word worked together. The fascinating stories by Alain Claude Sulzer, some of which also had a historical connection to Klosters, were shaped by this powerful music, brought to life by Oliver Schnyder. I found that impressive. I also received a lot of positive feedback about this evening. This special event was a unique experience for many.
The event took place in your atelier. How was the space used for this event? There was another art form in addition to music and literature.
Yes that’s right. I wanted the visitors to get a snapshot of what happens in my atelier. So I put together a small exhibition of paintings and sculptures for this evening. The evening became a total work of art for all the senses.
Why do you offer your atelier as a Klosters Music venue? Three concerts took place in your studio in the first festival edition in 2019.
It was clear to me from the beginning that these spacious atelier rooms should be a special place for Klosters and the region too. There are always opportunities to experience art in my atelier – through guest artists as well whose works I exhibit. Interdisciplinarity is important to me. That’s why the concerts fit very well with my understanding of art.
As a member of the foundation board, you have been actively involved in the planning and implementation of the festival from the very beginning. Why are you involved in this body?
When the Art & Music, Klosters Foundation was founded in 2019, it was also about having firm roots in the village. As a cultural worker from Klosters I like to get involved. It was also a conscious decision to include the atelier in the festival as a venue for smaller, intimate concerts. My own family also has a strong connection to music.
You have lived in Klosters for almost 20 years. What significance does the festival now have for the town and the holidaymakers?
Klosters Music has an exciting history. There had already been two world-class classical concerts here in the village before the foundation was established. We had concerts in the atelier at that time too. With the foundation, the festival was professionalised and solidly set up. In terms of audience numbers and audience enthusiasm, the festival has already established itself nationally and gradually also internationally. The programme offered by artistic director David Whelton is highly attractive. What I would like to see is an even stronger connection with the people here in the village. But we are on the right track. The guests really appreciate the festival. It works well in Klosters, having attracted big names in the past.
This year you created a bronze sculpture on a granite block to support the festival – a Steinböckli. What does the figure, which you could buy for CHF 1,000, have to do with the festival?
We thought about creating something artistically that could be given back to the supporters and patrons of the festival, who we desperately need. I created a limited edition of 22 copies, and we sold almost all of them in 2022. We want to continue the project with a slightly modified sculpture, of which I will then produce 23 copies next year. Over the years, we want to grow a real herd of ibexes with the heraldic animal of Graubünden. This will also have a collector’s effect.
The 5th edition of Klosters Music will be celebrated next year. What are your hopes for the festival for the future?
After the successful initial phase, we are now entering a process in which we are developing a long-term, sustainable strategy and also a corresponding profile for the festival. I want the transfer to succeed. We have proven that the festival works. This year, the hotel industry has joined in more than ever before. I hope that the business community will also increasingly understand that the festival has become an integral part of Klosters’ cultural life and has great appeal.
Would you like to learn more about Christian Bolt? The famous sculptor and painter invited us to his atelier during the festival. Click here for the video. Click here for the video.
Exhilarating concerts ensure standing ovations at Klosters Music.
“Although Bengal fireworks are forbidden in the canton of Graubünden, I can nonetheless promise you musical fireworks today,” said Heinz Brand, President of the Music & Art Foundation, Klosters, in his welcome speech on yesterday’s National Day. And Philharmonix set off the first rocket in the well-filled concert hall of Klosters Arena with the oriental overture freely adapted from Mozart. “Odessa Bulgar” is a rousing klezmer. Even the rock number “Don’t Stop Me Now” by the cult band Queen is mellowed down by Philharmonix. Standing ovations like at the opening concert, even though the latter was of a more classical tone. Fire and passion could nevertheless be felt in abundance as the Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado and the Münchener Kammerorchester performed Rossini’s Overture to “William Tell” and Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s “Italian Symphony”, setting the hall ablaze. In Schumann’s Piano Concerto, Francesco Piemontesi showed himself to be a true poet at the piano. The debut of the Freiburger Barockorchester was equally impressive: expressive, virtuosic, dynamic. The soloist Francesco Corti, who made the harpsichord sing in Johann Sebastian Bach’s well-known D minor concerto, was also outstanding.
Saturday, 6 August 2022, 7 pm, Concert Hall, Arena Klosters: A Summernight’s Dream
At 27, Patrick Hahn is the youngest general music director in the German-speaking world. He not only conducts his Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, but has also conducted top international orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and the Philharmonia Orchestra London. With the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, he will present milestones of the symphonic repertoire such as Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s glittering overture to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Joseph Haydn’s last symphony no. 104 in D major “London”. Arabella Steinbacher, an internationally renowned violinist, was enlisted for the interpretation of Johannes Brahms’ violin concerto.
More information about the programme and the ticket sale can be found here.
Sunday, 7 August 2022, 5 pm, Concert Hall, Arena Klosters: Carte Blanche
Sir András Schiff has already captivated audiences with his interpretative skills at the first three editions of the Klosters Music Festival. This year he will close the festival with his piano recital. He does not want to reveal exactly what he will be playing at the concert, which he will host, in order to keep us all in suspense. What is certain, however, is that the works will be from the Viennese classical period, to which he has always had a strong personal connection. Schiff is always concerned with faithfulness to the text, “but also knowing how to read a text. There are so many subtleties that cannot be written down at all. It’s about the art of timing. And yes: the joy of music!”
More information about the programme and the ticket sale can be found here.
From Salome to Falco
Philharmonix sets off a special musical firework on Swiss National Day and presents its new album
They have done it again – mixed musical styles, creative arrangements, composed and thrown in a good helping of humour. Philharmonix remains true to itself on its third album, which will be released on 26 August 2022. The septet from Vienna and Berlin combines Mozart’s Requiem and excerpts from his opera The Magic Flute with Falco’s hit Rock me Amadeus and calls this special mix Requiem for Falco. Several of the new musical creations can also be heard at the concert of the virtuoso ensemble on 1 August at 5 pm in the Klosters Arena, for example Sebastian Gürtler’s Žute Dunje (Yellow Quinces), which takes a Bosnian folk song as the starting point for much love, pain and sentimentality. Waltzing Matilda, the unofficial Australian national anthem, gradually becomes a real rock number in the arrangement by cellist Stephan Koncz, a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker. But klezmer (Odessa Bulgar) and pop with Reality, which pays homage to the 80s hit from the teen romance La Boum, are also united under the Philharmonix umbrella. Even the complex Dance of the Seven Veils from Richard Strauss’ opera Salome can be found on this album, of course in a very special version. Many a musical firework is set off in the concert presented by clarinettist Daniel Ottensamer – just the thing for the Swiss National Day.
Across the Borders – Concert by the Ensembles Philharmonix (The Vienna Berlin Music Club) on 1 August at 5 pm in the Concert Hall, Arena Klosters. The new album Vol. 3 will be released by Deutsche Grammophon on 26 August 2022.
The excitement is mounting as the launch is just around the corner
It has taken many months of hard work – now the entire Klosters Music team is waiting in the wings to make the fourth edition of the festival a real music festival for all visitors. Even the opening weekend demonstrates the outstanding quality of the artists invited. Heinz Brand, President of the Foundation Art & Music, Klosters, is also looking forward to it finally getting underway. “I am also delighted that we do not have to observe Covid regulations such as social distancing or wearing masks, as we did in the last two years. Nothing will take away from the enjoyment of the music.” For Brand, Klosters Music is not only a great proposal for the locals, but also a fixture for the tourist destination Klosters. The fact that this year’s festival is also themed around the 800th anniversary of the village shows the local roots of these international music days.
Saturday, 30 July 2022, 7 pm, Concert Hall, Arena Klosters: Romantic Awakening
The opening concert of Klosters Music gets off on a high note, not only because of the varied and entertaining programme with the well-known William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini, Robert Schumann’s romantic Piano Concerto in A minor (soloist: Francesco Piemontesi from Ticino) and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s dynamic Italian Symphony. Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado also has the big picture in mind with the Münchener Kammerorchester and is looking for new, exciting readings. A festival opening that will release a lot of energy and spread a spirit of optimism!
More information about the programme and the ticket sale can be found here.
Great piano art at Klosters Music
In addition to Sir András Schiff and Franceso Piemontesi, Oliver Schnyder and Kirill Gerstein will also be performing at the festival.
Francesco Piemontesi opens Klosters Music with Robert Schumann’s piano concerto, Sir András Schiff closes the festival with a solo recital dedicated to Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Both have already been profiled in the Klosters Music newsletter. But there are two more first-class pianists at the festival.
Musical-philosophical outside view
Oliver Schnyder, together with writer friend Alain Claude Sulzer, is holding a musical-literary evening on 2 August at Atelier Bolt, entitled Travellers – Histories & Stories, which focuses on the composers Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Franz Liszt. “Mendelssohn and Liszt were the most famous musicians in Europe during their lifetime, real pop stars,” says Schnyder. “With their easy formal comprehensibility, their poetically speaking, at times brilliantly virtuoso character, Mendelssohn’s ‘Songs without Words’ quickly won the hearts of ambitious amateur pianists. “The selected works by Franz Liszt from the Années de pèlerinage, Première année (Suisse) also have great appeal for Schnyder. “With the sounding images of nature, Liszt has given Switzerland a musical-philosophical outside view with such depth that the view of our nature can never be the same after hearing it.”
From Switzerland to the USA
Switzerland is home and centre of life for the pianist, who was born in Brugg in 1973. After studying with Emmy Henz-Diémand and Homero Francesch in Zurich, he continued his training with Ruth Laredo in New York and the famous Leon Fleisher in Baltimore. Schnyder’s international career has progressed thanks to winning First Prize at the Pembaur Competition in Bern (1999) and his debuts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. (2000) and with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich (2002). With Andreas Janke (violin) and Benjamin Nyffenegger (cello), the versatile pianist forms the successful Oliver Schnyder Trio. Schnyder has also made a name for himself as an organiser with the Piano District piano series in Baden and the Lenzburgiade Klassik & Folk, which he runs together with his wife Fränzi Frick. He is very much looking forward to the musical-literary evening at Klosters Music: “Alain Claude Sulzer’s language is also like music. And the works I play speak in the same way, in a language that everyone understands. The charm is in this playful ping-pong.”
Chamber musician and soloist
Kirill Gerstein will be the piano partner of the Hagen Quartett in Johannes Brahms‘ Piano Quintet in F minor op. 34 at the concert on 3 August. The pianist, born in 1979 in Voronezh in the former Soviet Union, has a long association with the Hagen Quartett. He admires the ensemble, which has existed for over forty years and in which three siblings play together: “The will to keep searching and not to rely on previous musical solutions, coupled with the incredible unity of the ensemble, which has been cultivated over decades of playing together. It is another miracle that this unity does not destroy the individuality of these four musicians,” says Gerstein. He likes being a chamber musician and soloist – for him there is no fundamental difference: “Even solo works are virtual chamber music.”
Substitute for Daniil Trifonov
His early debut with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in September 2000 under David Zinman, when he played Johannes Brahms’ First Piano Concerto, similarly had a positive effect on his career. Like Schnyder, Gerstein also did part of his training in the USA – at the age of twelve he studied jazz at the Berklee College of Music before turning to classical music at the Manhattan School of Music. He celebrated his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2016 with the 2nd Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto. He stood in for Daniil Trifonov with the same work two weeks ago at the orchestra’s traditional season finale at the Waldbühne. “It was a magical evening: being with 23,000 attentive listeners, especially after the pandemic restrictions of listening to music together; rehearsing this well-known piece with the musicians of the Berliner Philharmoniker and their wonderful conductor Kirill Petrenko with great concentration, and then the thrill of the performance energy…. “. Klosters Music is looking forward to high piano art.
More information about the programme can be found here.
Big band sound and symphonic grandeur
The City Light Symphony Orchestra provides the appropriate soundtrack for the Hollywood classic “Singin’ in the Rain” live.
Arousing longings and creating dreams, but also generating tension and intensifying emotions – these are the tasks of the City Light Symphony Orchestra, which specialises in live performances of film music. Founded in 2018 under the label City Light Concerts in Lucerne, the project orchestra of around 60 musicians has already not only made the soundtrack to the James Bond films Casino Royale and Skyfall sparkle, but also the European premiere of Apollo 13. For the Hollywood classic Singin’ in the Rain starring Gene Kelly, the symphony orchestra was augmented with five saxophones and a rhythm section with guitar, electric bass and drums. The original version of the music by Nacio Herb Brown from 1952 when the film was shot, will be played in Klosters. “What is spectacular about this version of the film is the combination of jazzy big band sound on the one hand and symphonic grandeur on the other,” says managing director Pirmin Zängerle. And he is pleased that after the great success of Cinema Paradiso last year, the orchestra can once again perform a film classic at Klosters Music.
Conductor Anthony Gabriele is absolutely thrilled with the film music: “The melodies are catchy, the harmonies are classy and the dance passages are really brilliant and masterfully orchestrated. All in all, this film music is a wonderful and also very intelligent mix of different popular music styles.” The challenges for the orchestra lie in the many different styles that have to be made audible – musical, jazz, swing and elaborately orchestrated, symphonic ballet music. The most important thing for him as a conductor is absolute synchronicity between the music and the film, which is especially crucial in song and dance scenes. “That’s why I have to have completely internalised the tempi and rhythm of the film,” says Gabriele. The song Singin’ in the Rain originally came from the film The Hollywood Revue of 1929, and many well-known artists such as Dean Martin have sung the hit before. “The 1952 musical film then provided a new and even broader popularity through Gene Kelly’s inspired interpretation, in which he danced through puddles in the rain,” says Anthony Gabriele.
Before the Arena Klosters becomes a cinema hall on this evening, a considerable logistical effort is however necessary. The stage has to be completely dismantled in order to hang the big screen. The subsequent stage set-up is complex because the entire stage lighting also has to be adjusted due to the special setting. In the hall, the panes of the doors are further darkened. “The team from the Arena Klosters around Markus Hartmann is doing a huge job here, as with the entire festival,” says managing director Franziska von Arb, and is looking forward to the special cinema event, which also attracts spectators who are not otherwise regulars at the festival. She has only one worry before the film premiere: “Hopefully we and our team will get all the popcorn bags packed in time, including the raffle tickets for the concert break.”
HOLLYWOOD – SINGIN IN THE RAIN with the City Light Symphony Orchestra under Anthony Gabriele on 5 August 2022 at 7pm in the Arena Klosters Concert Hall (introduction to the life and work of Gene Kelly by his wife Patricia Ward Kelly at 6pm).
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The start of summer heralds increasing anticipation of Klosters Music. Arabella Steinbacher, Patrick Hahn and the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg make their debut at the festival on 6th August.
“What power and classically dark humour next to the airy fairy magic!”, gushes the composer Carl Reinecke about the beginning of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream op. 21. “And how the four triads at the beginning and end close the whole so uniformly that it resembles a chain ring in which not a single link should be missing.” This frequently performed work is a real stroke of genius by the 17-year-old composer in the summer of 1826. Many years later, Mendelssohn Bartholdy was commissioned to write an entire incidental score for William Shakespeare’s sensual comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he pursued with great enthusiasm. The Wedding March contained therein is one of the best-known works of the classical period. He however left the overture, with which the concert entitled A Midsummer Night’s Dream will gently begin on 6th August 2022 at Klosters Music, unchanged in its perfection. Absolute mastery also characterises Joseph Haydn’s last symphony in D major from 1795, the so-called London. Thematic rigour meets humour and tonal refinement, high demands meet easy comprehensibility.
Great career, broad repertoire
Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto, on the other hand, did not go down so easily – but it is still a real masterpiece. Brahms changed the original four-movement conception into a three-movement one. The composer closely exchanged ideas with his violinist friend Joseph Joachim, who also wrote the solo cadenza for the first movement. Despite great technical challenges, this concerto is less about the glamorous emphasis of the solo part; rather, the violin is thematically linked to the orchestra. Artistic maturity is required to interpret this vast work. Arabella Steinbacher, an exceptional artist, introduces herself in Klosters with an enormously broad repertoire. The Munich native began playing the violin at the age of three, and at the age of nine was accepted into the violin class of the famous professor Ana Chumachenco, who also raised other exceptional talents such as Julia Fischer and Lisa Batiashvili. After having long had the 1716-built Stradivari Booth at her disposal for her international career, which brought her together with maestros such as Kirill Petrenko, Herbert Blomstedt and Zubin Mehta, she presents another instrument in Klosters: the 1718-built Ex Benno Walter by Antonio Stradivari, once played by the famous violinist Joseph Szigeti – the loan of a Swiss foundation.
The youngest general music director who can even compose
It is well known that one can achieve extraordinary things on the violin at a very young age. Conductors’ careers, however, usually start much later. Patrick Hahn (born 1995) is an exception in every respect. He composed his first opera at the age of twelve, which he conducted himself. His piano studies in Graz, which he began at the age of eleven, were immediately followed by conducting and composition studies. In the meantime, the affable Austrian, who also sometimes sings songs by Georg Kreisler and sets accents as a jazz pianist, has already conducted renowned orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra London. Since the beginning of the 2021/22 season, he has been General Music Director in Wuppertal, making him the youngest GMD in the German-speaking world. A few weeks ago he took over for Riccardo Minasi in the Freischütz with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. Hahn will also stand in for Minasi at Klosters Music to create a special Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Klosters audience with the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg and Arabella Steinbacher: with fairy magic, violin art and tonal refinement.
More information about the programme and the ticket sale can be found here.
“An exciting peek behind the scenes”
Music and painting are the great passions of the German-Swiss dual citizen born in Wuppertal. Having grown up in a home interested in culture, Daniela Lütjens chose the artistic profession of painting restorer. For many years she worked on the famous Claren Altar in Cologne Cathedral. Together with her husband, she has also been involved in classical music for a long time. Georg Rudiger spoke with her.
Georg Rudiger: You have been president of the Patrons’ Association Art & Music, Klosters since its foundation. What do you enjoy about this role?
Daniela Lütjens: I love organising. I am also active in the Zonta Club Zurich, which campaigns for women’s rights worldwide, and have been organising charity events for many years. I have always been interested in culture – in visual arts as well as music. So I can bring both together at the Patrons’ Association Art & Music, Klosters.
What connection do you have with the town of Klosters?
My husband and I have had a second home here for a long time. We love this place and spend a lot of time here both in summer and winter, roaming around a lot in nature.
How does the Patrons’ Association promote the festival?
First and foremost by raising a lot of money to help finance this great festival. The annual support from our members and sponsors ranges from 100 to more than 50’000 Swiss francs. We now have around 130 members and also 19 sponsors who are not members of the association. We organise post-concert dinners with the artists for them when a certain amount of support is reached. There is a patrons’ reception and even a visit to a rehearsal – an exciting peek behind the scenes! This year, for the first time, we are also organising two excursions during the festival exclusively for our members and patrons, although these have to be paid for separately.
Where do the excursions go?
We drive to Chur to the Bündner Kunstmuseum and get a guided tour there. The works of the Giacometti family of artists are particularly interesting and not very well known. We have lunch in the historic Stern Restaurant, and afterwards we take a look around the old town together. As a second event, we offer a rehearsal visit in the Arena with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg under the direction of Patrick Hahn with the great violinist Arabella Steinbacher, followed by lunch at the Kesslerhof. Incidentally we will be present with a stand at every concert during the festival. We will not only talk to our supporters there, but also with any interested concert guests. This year you can also buy an ibex sculpture by the Klosters sculptor and painter Christian Bolt. He is active on the festival’s board of trustees. The festival is also financially supported from these proceeds.
What are you particularly looking forward to at the upcoming festival?
It’s hard to decide with this fabulous and varied programme. Perhaps to the concert with Sir András Schiff. We have known him personally for many years and also support his own festival in Vicenza.
You don’t know in advance what exactly he will play.
That’s true, but he has already revealed the composers Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He once nicely commented that we in the audience don’t know either what we would like to have for lunch on a certain day two years from now – and he feels the same way about playing the piano. The contracts with the organisers are made a long time in advance. Sir András Schiff wants to keep a certain spontaneity in the concert business. He then explains in each case which work he is playing and why he has chosen it.
What is special about Klosters Music for you – especially when compared to other music festivals?
The beautiful mountain world in which it takes place. And the familiar setting. You can also meet great artists in the village or in the hotel and chat with them a little. That would never happen in New York or London.
Would you like to become a member of the Patrons‘ Association too? You will find information here about membership and this year’s edition of the ibex figure. The programme of excursions with registration form will be sent directly to members of the Patrons‘ Association at the end of June.
Canticle of the Sun and the Art of the Flute
Maurice Steger and Nuria Rial embark on a musical journey through time at the concert on 4 August
Maurice Steger loves musical excavations. Time and again, the flutist and conductor, who grew up in Landquart, discovers unknown, sparsely notated repertoire, which he makes blossom with his musical imagination and tremendous virtuosity on the recorder. The concert on 4 August is dedicated to the 800th anniversary of the parish. It will take place in the historic church of St. Jacob, whose steeple dates back to the founding of the village. For Maurice Steger, the church is therefore the perfect place to fill this anniversary with musical life. “We begin with the three-part hymn O virgo splendens, which was written in the 14th century and kept in the monastery of Montserrat. Nuria Rial will sing the first part, I will play the second on a late medieval recorder and the third will probably be played on a harp. It is not quite 800 years. But our journey through time still stretches from the late 14th century to the Händel era of the early 18th century – although the song from the Montserrat monastery could also be considerably older.”
On the wings of song
The Catalan singer Nuria Rial takes the audience on this journey through time with her articulate, crystalline soprano. The award-winning singer, who once took her soloist’s diploma with the great Swiss singer Kurt Widmer at the Musikakademie Basel and has excelled for over twenty years in the interpretation of Renaissance and Baroque music with conductors such as John Eliot Gardiner, Thomas Hengelbrock and Trevor Pinnock, is the ideal cast for the exclusive repertoire. With the dance-like Damigella tutta bella from Claudio Monteverdi’s 1607 collection of madrigals Scherzi Musicali published in Venice, she leads us into the spirit of optimism of the early Baroque. A century later, the serenata Il giardino d’amore by Alessandro Scarlatti was written in Naples, whose aria Più non m’alletta e piace brings soprano and recorder together in an intimate duet. Georg Friedrich Händel’s Tra le fiamme for soprano and ensemble (1707) is a musically exciting cantata about a thousand butterflies coming too close to the flames. In the lively first aria Tra le fiamme tu scherzi per gioco, the viola da gamba becomes the singer’s equal partner. The two subsequent arias musically describe the spectacular flight of Icarus, who, accompanied by high-pitched instruments, climbs ever higher towards the sun, which eventually melts his flying machine made of wax and feathers and sends him crashing into the sea.
The Cuckoo and the Nightingale
Georg Friedrich Händel loved the organ and was himself a true virtuoso on the instrument. Of his 16 organ concertos in total, The Cuckoo and the Nightingale from 1738, scheduled on 4 August, is the best known. Händel’s organ concertos were often performed during the act breaks of his oratorios as an additional attraction. Sometimes one could even hear the birds chirping, as in this extremely charming dialogue of cuckoo and nightingale. The soloist will be the Basel-based early music expert Sebastian Wienand, who is best known for his creative collaboration with the Freiburger Barockorchester and the conductor René Jacobs. He will interpret the concert on the historic, over 330-year-old Köberle organ, whose tuning pitch is around 455 hertz. However, since the baroque tuning for the orchestra is considerably lower at 415 hertz, the musicians of the La Cetra Barockorchester Basel will have two differently tuned instruments with them for this concert. So every effort will be made to make this journey through time at Klosters Music a real musical discovery tour.
Order your tickets now for the concert on 4 August 2022. You can find more information about the programme here.
“Bösendorfer is Viennese dialect”
Sir András Schiff will interpret works of the Viennese classical period at the final concert of Klosters Music. However, the exceptional pianist does not want to reveal what exactly he will play.
You won’t find his portrait on the cover of glossy magazines, his soulful piano is unpretentious. Heartfelt music-making rather than unreserved show! Sir András Schiff is one of the antistars of the international piano scene. In his piano recitals, the audience becomes a reverent congregation listening to the fine colour differentiations and nuances of touch with which he turns his interpretations of works into something very special. At Klosters Music he plays works by Joseph Haydn and, for the first time at the festival, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Budapest-born pianist has a very broad horizon. Schiff has not only conducted several chamber music festivals and works frequently as a conductor – with the Cappella Andrea Barca he has also founded his own chamber orchestra. He is also an esteemed piano teacher. This great musical experience shapes his piano playing.
From the very start
He has been with Klosters Music from the very start and has gifted the audience every year with exemplary interpretations of the music of Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms. During the last two years, which were marked by the Covid pandemic, one heard from some musicians that they were also quite happy about this longer compulsory break. Sir András Schiff, on the other hand, did not enjoy the lockdown, “although it was good to be at home for once and to get some peace. Nevertheless: I had lost my rhythm of life, so to speak. The daily need to work and practise was gone. It was as if there was no more energy, no goals and therefore no motivation.” But he tried to make the best of the situation. “For example, I started cooking and worked out a small but extraordinarily tasty range of Hungarian specialities,” the pianist reveals.
Sleep in your own bed
Although, as far as repertoire is concerned, Sir András Schiff always draws on the familiar such as Viennese Classicism, Romantic composers like Schubert and Schumann, but also the music of his fellow countryman Béla Bartók, his musical career is also characterised by curiosity and a thirst for knowledge – especially when it comes to instruments. He recorded works by Franz Schubert on a fortepiano. He recorded Ludwig van Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations on both a Bechstein grand from 1921 and a Brodmann fortepiano from 1820. For his piano recital on 7 August 2022 at 5 p.m. in the Arena Klosters concert hall, which concludes this year’s festival, he will bring his own Bösendorfer grand to interpret works of the Viennese Classical period: “Playing on your own grand is like sleeping in your own bed in a hotel. Bösendorfer is like Viennese dialect, Steinway is High German,” says Schiff.
Finding new ways
The title of this piano recital is Carte Blanche. The pianist has deliberately decided that the detailed programme will not be published in advance. “We have to find new ways to communicate with the audience. I find that the usual rituals of a concert are too formal, too predictable. There are no surprises,” says Schiff. Nevertheless, one can of course be sure that the evening will be one of the highlights of the festival. Only which specific works the interpreter will highlight remains unknown. For Schiff the key point is always faithfulness to the text, “but also knowing how to read a text. There are so many subtleties that cannot be written down at all. It’s about the art of timing. And yes: the joy of music!”
You can experience Sir András Schiff at Klosters Music on 7 August 2022. Tickets can be purchased here.
Start of a rousing celebration
“Knowst thou the land where the lemon trees bloom,
Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket’s gloom,
Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows,
And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose.”
The opening weekend of Klosters Music promises great musical experiences
The longing for Italy that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe expressed in his poem Mignon was also shared by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. The composer met the poet in Weimar a total of five times; the first times when he was still a child prodigy, and during his last stay in May 1830 as a 21-year-old man. The composer, admired by Goethe, went to Venice and Florence in the autumn of the same year, via Munich and Vienna. Mendelssohn Bartholdy stayed in Rome for five months. He took Goethe’s Italian Journey, based on diary entries, with him and followed in his footsteps. In the spring of 1831, he visited Naples and the spectacular Amalfi Coast with its enchanting little town of Amalfi at the foot of craggy cliffs. There, the composer, who also had a talent for drawing, not only painted the picturesque view of the town, but was also inspired by dances of the girls in the village square for the finale of his Italian Symphony, which he calls Saltarello, an Italian leaping dance. But light and warmth are also reflected in this vibrant symphony in A major, which is on the programme of the opening concert of Klosters Music.
Spirit of optimism at the opening concert
The well-known work will be conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado, a recognised Mendelssohn expert. Together with the Freiburger Barockorchester, which will introduce itself one day later in Klosters, he has recorded the symphonies, the E minor Violin Concerto (with Isabelle Faust) and the 2nd Piano Concerto (with Kristian Bezuidenhout) by Mendelssohn Bartholdy on CD. The Spaniard was previously a guest at Klosters Music in 2020 with an all-Beethoven programme – his inspiring performance with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is still fondly remembered. In the meantime, his international career has gained even more momentum. The Ring des Nibelungen he conducted at the Teatro Real in Madrid, his debut at La Scala in Milan with Don Giovanni in the spring and the upcoming production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in June at the Vienna State Opera speak for themselves. But the Munich Chamber Orchestra, a guest in Klosters for the first time, and the Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi, who has also not yet made a guest appearance at the festival, will also make the opening concert on Saturday something very special and spread a spirit of optimism.
High spirits and musical competition
But the second concert of this spectacular opening weekend also shines in the brightest colours. The Freiburger Barockorchester has put together a programme for Klosters Music that captivates the senses like a baroque feast and celebrates virtuosity, as in Antonio Vivaldi’s Bassoon Concerto. Normally, the “sex appeal” of this wind instrument is limited, especially in baroque literature, but here the well-known Italian composer makes a light-footed ballerina out of the rather clumsy member of the continuo section. Johann Sebastian Bach’s best-known harpsichord concerto in D minor also shows the solo instrument in its full range, especially since the Basel harpsichord professor Francesco Corti, one of the greatest virtuosos on this instrument, will play the solo part. Things get even wilder in the Concerto Grosso in D minor La Follia by Francesco Geminiani. The term originally comes from the Portuguese and stands for a fast dance that was always forbidden because of its sensuality. High-spirited exuberance or even madness is the translation. In this variation work on the 16th-century dance hit, two solo violins and a solo cello engage in a rousing musical contest that begins slowly but then builds to ecstasy. It is well known that kings can celebrate parties. A concert on the water, rocking on a boat, with strings and wind instruments, with the latest music and great instrumental effects – that’s what the English King George I wanted from the German composer George Friedrich Handel. From the palace in Whitehall, accompanied by Handel’s Water Music, he went to Chelsea for a dinner, and at 3 o’clock in the morning the court and orchestra returned by boat. In the Water Music, lyrical oboes meet blaring horns and radiant trumpets. This lively baroque festival is not to be missed.
Order your tickets now for the opening weekend of Klosters Music. You can find more information about the programme here.
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A desire for something new
The Freiburger Barockorchester comes to Klosters Music for the first time
The drumbeats instil fear. You don’t want to go face this winter. But something lovely soon emerges through the surface of the ice: a brief ray of sunshine in the transverse flutes, a luminous melody in the oboe. This is how the Freiburger Barockorchester introduces spring in Joseph Haydn’s oratorio The Seasons which has been recorded by the Freiburger Barockorchester together with the RIAS Chamber Choir under the direction of René Jacobs. Energy and vividness not only characterise this recording but also characterise the orchestra’s numerous live performances. The Freiburgers give up to 100 concerts a year. An annual concert series in Freiburg, Stuttgart and Berlin offers its loyal audience repertoire highlights, but also many discoveries. The orchestra gives guest performances in the USA, South America, Australia, Japan, China and, of course, Europe, and plays at the most renowned festivals such as the Salzburg Festival or the international music festival in Aix-en-Provence.
It’s always about everything
All the same, the ensemble still seems fresh even after 35 years since its founding – there is no sign of routine. There is always a dance-like moment in the orchestra’s playing. The musicians move and play with their whole bodies. They only work with a conductor on large-scale projects. Otherwise, the concertmaster leads the orchestra. The 31 members of the orchestra are not permanently employed, but are paid on a daily basis and, as partners, also bear the financial responsibility for the ensemble. That’s why it’s always about everything – and you can see that in the committed playing of each individual. The quality must be proven again and again.
Romanticism also in the repertoire
The Freiburger Barockorchester has long since expanded its repertoire into the classical and romantic periods, as with the very recent romantic opera Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber. Contemporary music has also been interpreted by the top ensemble. For its debut at Klosters Music, however, the orchestra will present a purely Baroque programme. “We always play baroque repertoire standing up and without a conductor. This simply thrives on the exchange between the musicians, on the lively language of sound!”, says Gottfried von der Goltz, who is the artistic director together with the pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, who specialises in historical keyboard instruments.
Experimental foundation phase
The 57-year-old violinist, professor of baroque violin at the Freiburger Musikhochschule, was one of the founding members of the ensemble in 1987. It was Rainer Kussmaul’s violin class with talented, interested students such as Thomas Hengelbrock and Petra Müllejans, in which they also experimented with baroque instruments. The idea of founding an orchestra then came from the students themselves. At the age of 21, Gottfried von der Goltz already had a permanent position in the NDR Sinfonieorchester, which he gave up for the adventure of the Freiburger Barockorchestr. “We all simply felt like trying something new. There was something in the air – Concerto Köln and other free ensembles were also founded at that time, after all.”
Responsibility for the musical whole
And what has changed since then? Certainly, the management has become more professional and has gained a good international reputation. “We have also become much more experienced in repertoire knowledge. In the beginning, it was all about baroque music as a whole. In the meantime, we also know the stylistic diversity of this epoch. The music of Francesco Geminiani, for example, from whom we are presenting the Concerto Grosso La Follia in Klosters, we play with a lot of vibrato. Bach’s phrasing, on the other hand, is much leaner,” says von der Goltz, who will conduct the concert in Klosters from the concertmaster’s podium. What has remained from the early years is the curiosity and also the argumentativeness in the rehearsals. Everyone takes responsibility for the musical whole. Today, the Freiburger Barockorchester (FBO) is one of the world’s leading ensembles of historical performance practice.
“Musical precision and overwhelming joy of playing”.
The orchestra regularly works with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Pablo Heras-Casado and René Jacobs as well as well-known soloists (Isabelle Faust, Philippe Jaroussky, Christian Gerhaher) and also occasionally sits in the orchestra pit for major opera productions. Now the renowned label Deutsche Grammophon has announced a long-term collaboration with the FBO. “I know of no orchestra of historically informed performance practice that even comes close to the Freiburger Barockorchester in its consistently high quality of innovative programming, musical precision and overwhelming joy of playing since its founding in 1987,” enthuses Andreas Kluge, Senior Manager Artist Promotion at Universal Music. So you can look forward to an exciting, all-embracing concert evening at Klosters Music.
You can experience the Freiburger Barockorchester live at Klosters Music on 31 July. Tickets can be purchased here.
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“It is a one off!”
For the fourth time, David Whelton has conceptualised the programme for Klosters Music. The artistic director looks forward with great expectations to the upcoming edition, which has the theme “Zeitreise. A Musical Journey” and reflects musically on the 800th anniversary of Klosters. Georg Rudiger spoke with him about the programme.
Georg Rudiger: The last two festival editions were shaped by the corona pandemic. With what thoughts and feelings do you look back? And what are your expectations for the next edition?
David Whelton: I was very pleased with the success of the 2020 and 2021 editions of Klosters Music. The leadership of the Foundation Board, and the excellent safety protocol devised by Franziska von Arb, provided a safe environment for our artists and audience. Looking back, I am astonished with what was achieved in such difficult circumstances. In 2020, Klosters was one of the very few festivals to take place in its entirety. We provided a platform for the very finest artists who rewarded us with outstanding performances which I will never forget. I am confident that Klosters Music 2022, celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the Foundation of Klosters, will again provide a unique experience for our artists and audience.
This year the village of Klosters is celebrating its 800th Anniversary. That’s why you appropriately chose “Zeitreise. A Musical Journey” as the musical theme this year. How is the theme reflected in the programme?
This year’s theme, “Zeitreise”, provided an opportunity to programme repertoire from the 14th Century to the present day in a wide variety of formats which, I am pleased to say, has captured the imagination of our artists. Nine exceptional concerts, each reflecting a different historical period, will take our audience on a musical journey.
Klosters Music is still a young festival in Switzerland’s rich festival summer. What is special about the festival?
Klosters Music offers an opportunity for music lovers to enjoy concerts given by outstanding musicians performing great music in a beautiful Alpine setting. The two weekends feature high profile orchestras, and the carefully chosen programmes are performed in venues with fine acoustics creating an intimate musical experience. Everything is of the highest quality, and the audience receive a very warm welcome from our volunteers who create the perfect ambience within which to enjoy a unique series of concerts.
In the past you have often worked with the Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. This year, three orchestras are celebrating their debut in Klosters: the Münchener Kammerorchester, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg and the Freiburger Barockorchester. Why this change?
One of my main goals in planning the early editions of Klosters Music was to gain the trust of the audience by inviting high profile ensembles in successive years. It was a great pleasure to work with Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, one of the very finest chamber orchestras in Germany, with an outstanding reputation. However, planning constraints require that we invite them for a pair of concerts. This year, because of the theme “Zeitreise”, it was not possible to do this. We will feature Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in future editions. I am delighted that this year our three orchestral concerts will be performed by ensembles I also particularly admire, the Münchener Kammerorchester, Freiburger Barockorchester and the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg.
Artists such as Sir András Schiff and Maurice Steger are regular guests. There are new faces with Arabella Steinbacher, Francesco Piemontesi and the Hagen Quartett. Do you consciously rely on this mixture of familiar and new?
I believe a good festival programme should combine the familiar with the new, hence this year we have once again the pleasure of hearing Maurice Steger and Sir András Schiff, together with wonderful artists new to Klosters such as Arabella Steinbacher, Francesco Piemontesi and the Hagen Quartett. It is a great privilege to be able to present such a range of superb artists in Klosters and they all want to return, the best possible measure of the festival’s success. Incidentally, this year we have the two finest harpsichordists of their generation appearing in Klosters: Francesco Corti and Sebastian Wienand.
The programme also includes many well-known works such as Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto or Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto. How do you design a concert programme?
Planning a concert programme is an organic process and an art. The starting point is of course the theme of the festival and the pattern of days available which changes each year. Within this framework, the opening and closing weekends are reserved for orchestral concerts. The mid-week concerts include chamber music, recitals, special events such as film and music, or music and the spoken word. Within the festival theme I will have specific repertoire that I wish to programme and specific artists, whom I know well, that I would like to invite. The relationship between the artist and repertoire they perform is key to the success of the concert. In the case of the conductor, it is also essential that they have a close and successful relationship with the orchestra and will have previously worked with the soloist. The planning process is driven by artists’ availability and requires detailed conversations with the artists and their managers. The juxtaposition of repertoire in each programme is critical, both in terms of key relationships and emotional intent; each work must form part of a coherent whole. Opera Gala programmes are the most complex to plan. My aim is to ensure that artists go on to the platform inspired to give of their best in a programme which will delight our audience.
What is the collaboration with the Foundation Board like, especially with Reinhard Winkler?
It is a great pleasure professionally, and personally, to work with the Foundation Board. They are immensely supportive and absolutely committed to enriching the musical life of Klosters and, by creating Klosters Music, making Klosters a cultural destination. With Heinz Brand as president of the foundation and Daniela Lütjens as president of the patrons’ association, we are in a very strong and secure position. Reiny Winkler, who has responsibility on the Board for the artistic programme, is a good friend and colleague, and always available to discuss and resolve the most complex issues.
What personal connection do you have to Klosters?
My musical connection with Klosters started through my involvement with the Christmas Concerts when I would bring friends from my orchestra, the Philharmonia London to give concerts in St. Jacob’s Church. Of course, all young men of my generation knew Klosters for its excellent skiing, but that was a long time ago!
Which concert are you most looking forward to at the festival? And why?
I know that every concert in Klosters will be special. However, having spent so much of my professional life in the opera and orchestral world, I am particularly looking forward to the Hagen Quartett with Kirill Gerstein on the 3 August.
And which concert are you particularly excited about?
I am very excited by the concert on the 4 August, a brilliant programme including music from the earliest days of Klosters. It is a one off! Maurice Steger, Nuria Rial and La Cetra Barockorchester Basel are peerless in this repertoire and using the Koeberle organ will add a special dimension to the evening.
Why do you think people should visit Klosters Music 2022?
Klosters Music 2022 is a musical gem, a sparkling series of concerts and “the summit meeting for musical delights”.
Virtuosity, humour and improvisation
The septet Philharmonix is shaking up the classical music scene. On 1 August 2022, these members of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras will celebrate their debut at Klosters Music.
The double bass player plucks a descending line. The high strings set their fast interjections exactly against the beat. And when the clarinet (Daniel Ottensamer) and piano (Christoph Traxler) join in, things really get going. Steamy Gypsy Swing in the style of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grapelli. “Swing on Beethoven” is Stephan Koncz’s very own arrangement for the ensemble Philharmonix, which also calls itself the “Vienna Berlin Music Club”. The cellist also gets to play the famous solo from the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony – not only as a noble cantilena over the funeral march rhythm, but with a light groove to the heated beats of the band. A trumpet solo played by second violinist Sebastian Gürtler and an excerpt from the finale of the Moonlight Sonata played as a spectacular ascent on the piano show the much-heard piece in a completely new light. Sebastian Gürtler’s “Tristan’s Tango” with Richard Wagner in a milonga or the wild “Dances from Transylvania” by Stephan Koncz with spectacular violin solos by Noah Bendix-Balgley are good-humoured, original pieces to listen to and smile at: more composition than adaptation.
“Everyone brings their music with them”
It is high time to catch up with cellists Stephan Koncz and Noah Bendix-Balgley, both members of the Berlin Philharmonic. “It’s similar to a tennis club, we meet among friends, write music together, experiment and have a good time with each other and our music”, says Stephan Koncz. And adds: “Everyone brings their music with them. Our clarinettist Daniel Ottensamer loves swing jazz in the style of Benny Goodman, our double bass player, Ödön Rácz, grew up with Hungarian folk music”. Noah Bendix-Balgley has brought klezmer music into the ensemble. “My father is a dance teacher. I’ve been hearing Jewish folk dances since I was a child. I want to discover klezmer influences in classical music, but also, conversely, to integrate klezmer pieces into classical recitals. Improvisation plays a big role in this music. Improvisation is also crucial for Philharmonix,” says the concert master of the Berlin Philharmonic. The American violinist was brought into the ensemble by Stephan Koncz in 2017, after a total of three musicians – founder Tibor Kovác and brothers Roman and Frantisek Jánoska – left the group, which was originally called “the Philharmonics”.
Less Csárdás, more Pop
The new name “Philharmonix” continues to name the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, from whose ranks three musicians come. “The ‚X‘ represents the often unconventional approach to all musical genres,” says Koncz. Stylistically, the ensemble has changed considerably since the reshuffle and is tantamount to a new foundation. South American music, such as the ingenious bossa nova «Babarababa” in fantasy Portuguese, is also in the repertoire. Sebastian Gürtler composed it. The Viennese violinist, who plays in classical ensembles such as the Hugo Wolf Quartett or the Alban Berg Ensemble Wien, dares to cross borders with the Amarcord formation and who has already been on stage with the musical comedian Aleksey Igudesman, is a new member, like the pianist Christoph Traxler. He was asked by violist Thilo Fechner, who contributes to the corporate identity of Philharmonix with his red suit.
Quick perception, high professionalism
Gürtler is not only a fan of South American music, (“I find this leaning back, combined with the intense way of life, fascinating”), but has also brought singing into the ensemble. In his arrangements, he tries to be relatively irreverent and very free with the original and create something of his own. What he appreciates about Philharmonix is the quick perception and high professionalism of the members. He is particularly taken with the double bass player. “Ödön is the heart of the ensemble, the Zinédine Zidan of the team. A central midfielder who pulls the strings and gives everyone the space they need. Gürtler, like his colleagues, is very much looking forward to Philharmonix’s debut at Klosters Music. “The pieces continue to develop on stage”, says Bendix-Balgley. „We never stand still, but want to create something new every time.“
You can experience the Ensemble Philharmonix live on 1 August 2022 at Klosters Music. Tickets can be purchased here.
Personal – About Reinhard Winkler, Vice-President of the Foundation Art & Music, Klosters
“Every concert is a festival in itself,” says Reinhard Winkler about Klosters Music. The former broker is a founding member of the Foundation Art & Music, Klosters, which organises the international summer festival. Together with his English wife Carol, the German, originally from the Black Forest, settled in Klosters in 2002. Last year, the two obtained Swiss citizenship and became Klosters residents. The culture-loving and also culture-promoting couple spent most of their professional life in England. Because they love skiing and music – they regularly visit the Salzburg Festival and the Zurich Opera – Klosters is the ideal place for them to live.
On the Board of the Foundation, Reinhard Winkler (born in 1945) deals mainly with questions about the concert programme. Together with artistic director David Whelton and general manager Franziska von Arb, he exchanges ideas about artists and ensembles. And he helps to put Whelton’s ideas into action by supporting the festival together with his wife as patrons. This year, the Winklers are making it possible for the world-famous Hagen Quartett to perform with pianist Kirill Gerstein on 3 August 2022. For Reinhard Winkler, musical passion and social commitment belong together.
Ticino pianist Francesco Piemontesi is coming to Klosters Music for the first time
His schedule is well filled again. In February, Francesco Piemontesi gave guest performances, with a Bach-Busoni-Recital in the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Basel Stadtcasino. In March, in addition to Richard Strauss’ “Burleske”, Robert Schumann’s piano concerto will also be on the programme, which the Swiss pianist will play in Hanover, Brunswick and Vienna, among others. But Piemontesi always had enough to do even in the last two years in the Corona pandemic, playing concerts with a modified programme or only as a live stream without an audience. In addition, he finally took the time to rehearse and record Franz Liszt’s “Transcendental Etudes” , as he tells in conversation with Arnt Cobbers in the podcast “Klassik viral”. A long-planned project for which the pianist had lacked the leisure in his normal concert schedule.
”I could always take my time”
Born in Locarno in 1983, the Ticino native can look back on a great international career. After studying at the Lugano Conservatory, he joined the Israeli piano professor Arie Vardie at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. Piano legends Alfred Brendel and Murray Perahia are also among his teachers. “I have never had a media career, I was lucky enough to be able to develop continuously and quite organically. I could always take my time”, Piemontesi recently told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper. The pianist likes to occupy himself long and thoroughly with a composer and wants to illuminate the music from all sides. He presented all of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s solo works at London’s Wigmore Hall at an early age. His Mozart playing has naturalness and transparency. His light, highly differentiated touch shows his interest in historical performance practice – he has a harpsichord in his Berlin apartment. The music of Franz Schubert is essential to his survival. He works out the abysses in it, but also the totally dreamy, bright places of longing.
Rigour and freedom, head and heart
“Francesco Piemontesi knows exactly the context of the piece he is playing. This pianist sings at the piano. And he has a wonderful combination of rigour and freedom, of head and heart in his playing,” says Sir Antonio Pappano, principal conductor of Rome’s Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, about the Swiss pianist, with whom he has worked several times. Piemontesi likes to think outside the box, drawing inspiration from architecture and nature. As artistic director, he has been in charge of the annual “Settimane Musicali di Ascona” festival since 2012. But he is also a regular concertgoer and works as a performer on transferring the tones of an orchestra to the piano. And on telling a story that goes further than the harmony of tones.
Orchestral tones on the piano
Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor op. 54, which he performs at the opening concert of Klosters Music together with the Münchener Kammerorchester under the Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, is a declared favourite work of his, since here piano and the orchestra are particularly closely interwoven. Individual melodic sections even move from one to the other there, as in the first movement. For him, this concerto has many soloists, not just the piano. For Piemontesi, the short intermezzo must be played quite delicately. The finale – a mixture of exuberant dance and heroic victory. The Klosters Music audience can look forward to this.
Opening concert “Romantic Awakening” on 30 July 2022 at 7 pm in the concert hall of the Klosters Arena. Gioachino Rossini: Overture from “Wilhelm Tell,” Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor op. 54 (Piano: Francesco Piemontesi), Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Symphony No. 4 in A major “Italian”, Münchener Kammerorchester, Conductor: Pablo Heras-Casado.
The summit meeting for musical delights
The fourth edition of Klosters Music (30 July – 7 August 2022) is themed “Zeitreise. A Musical Journey”. International classical music stars will make their mark on Klosters Music Week in the upper Prättigau. Choose your preferred seat online or at the Tourist Information Offices Klosters and Davos.
When Klosters Music opens on 30 July 2022 with a concert by the Münchener Kammerorchester under the baton of the Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado (including Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s “Italian Symphony”), you can once again look forward to a top class festival week at 1200 metres above sea level with a total of nine events. For the numerous guests here, in the scenic Prättigau in the Grisons, an impressive experience of nature is combined with musical delight.
Klosters debut by three top orchestras
Like the Münchener Kammerorchester, the Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi, with his performance of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto, will be a guest in Klosters for the first time. With the Freiburger Barockorchester conducted by Gottfried von der Goltz (31 July) and the Salzburg Mozarteumorchester, directed by Patrick Hahn (6 August, with violinist Arabella Steinbacher), two other top orchestras will make their debut in the concert hall of the Klosters Arena. The Salzburg Hagen Quartett (3 August, with pianist Kirill Gerstein) and the Ensemble Philharmonix, which reworks classical music with great wit (1 August, “Across the Borders”), are dedicated to chamber music. Sir András Schiff, an important constant at Klosters Music, celebrates his high piano art at the closing concert (7 August, “Carte Blanche”).
From the Middle Ages to “Hollywood on the Rocks”
The motto “Zeitreise. A Musical Journey” was deliberately chosen by artistic director David Whelton to musically reflect the 800th anniversary of Klosters. Conductor and recorder player Maurice Steger has put together a special programme for this in the church of St. Jakob – whose steeple is as old as the village – which dates back to the Middle Ages, but also includes virtuoso works from the Baroque (4 August, “A Moment in Time”). The 19th century in Switzerland is the subject of a musical-literary evening, organised for the first time, by the Swiss author Alain Claude Sulzer and the pianist Oliver Schnyder. The two will follow in the footsteps of travelling composers (2 August, Atelier Bolt, “Travellers – Histories & Stories”). And Gene Kelly, in the leading role of the musical film “Singin‘ in the rain” brings a little Hollywood into the mountains as he did in the 1950s, when he was a regular guest in Klosters together with other film stars. With this special music event, Klosters Music is making its contribution to the 800th anniversary of Klosters. The swinging film music will be brought to life live by the City Light Symphony Orchestra (5 August on big screen in the Klosters Arena). Hollywood on the Rocks!
“He liked people”
Klosters Music will be showing the Hollywood classic “Singin’ in the Rain” with live music on August 5. Lead actor Gene Kelly was a frequent guest at the Chesa Grischuna in Klosters in the 50s and 60s. Georg Rudiger spoke with managing director Barbara Rios Guler (69) about a surprising kiss on the hand, Gene Kelly’s skiing skills and “Hollywood on the Rocks.”
Georg Rudiger: Gene Kelly was a guest at the Chesa Grischuna in Klosters many times. Did he really dance on the tables in the bar there, as you often read?
Barbara Rios Guler: I was a child at the time and was not allowed to go into the bar in the evenings. I think the story is true, but I can’t attest to it.
When Gene Kelly came to the Chesa Grischuna for the first time in 1951 and praised the wonderful place in his guest book entry of February 14, you were not yet born. What is your first memory of the American film star?
I really only have one memory of him. As children, we were sometimes asked by our parents to greet individual guests personally, which we never liked to do. So I went to this round table where Gene Kelly was sitting and said Grüezi. He then kissed my hand in a very warm way. As a five-year-old, I was overwhelmed, but at that moment I perceived him as a very warm person.
Gene Kelly is said to have been a very good skier.
That’s true, I know that from stories. I was also given a few photos as a gift. He was very athletic and had perfect body control as a dancer. With his ski instructor, Fluri Clavadetscher from Klosters, he mastered the Casanna downhill run from Gotschna on only the second day of ski lessons. That’s impressive, even if it was an easy descent. Back then, the slopes were not prepared as well as they are today. There were a lot of little hills that you had to curve around.
Did Gene Kelly like to be alone?
No, he was always out with other people. Of course, with his family – his daughter Kerry was there sometimes – but also with friends, especially the screenwriter Peter Viertel and the writer Irwin Shaw. In the photos he is always surrounded by other people. I think he was very approachable and liked people.
The Chesa bar was a focal point of “Hollywood on the Rocks”, as Klosters was called in the 50s. What made the bar so attractive to the film stars?
The room is very beautiful – a cosy vaulted cellar, with a beautiful mural by Hans Schoellhorn, not too big and not too small. After the war, there was a need to catch up when it came to celebrating together. People wanted to have fun and be carefree again. We also had phenomenal bartenders and pianists.
Did local residents also mingle with the stars?
It wasn’t easy for locals to get into the Chesa bar. My father wanted the celebrity guests to be able to be among themselves. Today, everyone is welcome.
Why did the film stars actually come to Klosters?
One brought the other. It started with Salka Viertel, who like her son Peter was writer and screenwriter. Salka Viertel was a close friend of Greta Garbo; Peter Viertel later married Deborah Kerr. And brought many Hollywood celebrities here, including Gene Kelly. They all knew each other and invited each other.
Did the discretion and understatement of Klosters also play a role in its appeal to the film business?
Definitely. This is still the case today. When Prince Charles is a guest here, he remains completely unmolested, even though we have many English guests in town. He eats quite normally with us in the restaurant. For me, all people are equal – whether locals or celebrities, whether simple farmers or kings.
When was the last time Gene Kelly’s was there?
His wife Patricia, whom he married in 1990, is still a regular guest here. The last time that he himself was at our hotel was in 1965, I can see that from the index card. After that he changed hotels. And went to Kaiser’s Garni Hotel, which our bartender Leo Kaiser had newly built. You see – he knew him well. He was often at the bar.
Hollywood – “Singin in the Rain”. Timeless classic film starring Gene Kelly on the big screen, with live film music (in original language English with German subtitles) performed by the City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Gabriele. Friday, 5 August, 2022 at 19:00 in the concert hall of the Klosters Arena.
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“I also like to stray from the path sometimes”
Alain Claude Sulzer is one of Switzerland’s most famous writers. For the evening of 2 August at Atelier Bolt (7 p.m.), which he is organising together with pianist Oliver Schnyder, he takes a look at tourism in Switzerland in the 19th century. And with the music that was composed on these journeys. Georg Rudiger asked him a few questions about this.
Georg Rudiger, 24/01/2022
Georg Rudiger: In the 19th century, Switzerland was gradually opened up in terms of transport. The railways made travelling more comfortable. Why did the country become a place of longing for many poets, painters and composers?
Alain Claude Sulzer: Switzerland, as an ideal or idealised place, is of course older than the railways. For the German-speaking world, Friedrich Schiller, who was in fact never here, was not the least contributor to this. Nevertheless, he had a strong influence on the image of Switzerland. Since his Wilhelm Tell, Switzerland has been regarded as a haven of freedom, but also as a refuge for assassins and anarchists, of whom the contemporary rulers were quite afraid. Elisabeth of Austria, who was murdered in Geneva, even wrote an almost prophetic poem about it.
Why did you and the pianist Oliver Schnyder choose Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Franz Liszt for your musical-literary evening?
As far as Liszt is concerned, not least because some of his compositions explicitly refer to Swiss motifs without being programme music in the narrower sense, they have a rather more intimate, diary-like character, which is why in a certain way they exhibit characteristics of an almost impressionistic musical language. Like Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words, they are first and foremost mood pieces. In pieces like “Au lac de Wallenstadt” from the first volume of the “Années de pèlerinage: Suisse”, Liszt was concerned with rendering the water itself musically. In my opinion, this goes far beyond tone-painting. Rather, he put the essence of water into tones, he transformed matter into music.
Felix Mendelssohn kept a diary and wrote letters on his four journeys through Switzerland between 1822 and 1847. But above all, he drew the landscapes. Which texts bring you closer to this composer?
Let yourself be surprised as I let myself be surprised. Not all the texts for this evening have been written yet. I do research in all directions, which means I read and sometimes like to stray from the path, and at some points I get stuck on a detail that leads me to further steps.
The friendship between you and Oliver Schnyder came about after your novel “Aus den Fugen”, published in 2012, in which an aborted piano recital sets many things in motion. What characterises your friendship?
The utmost respect for each other’s achievements, although my respect for Oliver’s ability – from my point of view – is much greater. He can still become a writer one day – he has no lack of talent – but I will never, ever be able to play even two bars of Mozart. Of course our friendship is not only characterised by admiration, but also, for example, by sincerity and the same sense of humour.
What does travelling do to you?
I am not one of the passionate travellers, I have not seen most of what you can see and what others have seen. But what I saw, especially in the United States – whether it was the landscapes along the Pacific or cities like New York – fortunately remains very present. The images I remember remain strong, they accompany me, just as the views from Piz Corvatsch or Pilatus accompany me. They are so strong that even when I’m not there I keep feeding on them. But of course our modern travel is very different from travel in the 18th or 19th century. Even though travelling in Switzerland or Italy – once the most important “destinations” for tourists – could be described as cumbersome and adventurous today, people were mainly looking for the comforts, not the challenge. Ideally, one even travelled with one’s own bed, like Queen Victoria.
Music is a wonderful gift!
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Exclusive insights: Sir András Schiff in discussion with David Whelton
We were able to enjoy a total of eight wonderful and inspiring concerts at Klosters Music 2021. Both the versatile program and the outstanding performers were able to inspire the audience night after night with unique and expressive interpretations. Many of us will have lasting memories of the masterful and sensitive recital by Sir András Schiff on August 5. The artistic director of Klosters Music, David Whelton, conducted an extensive “fireside chat” with Sir András Schiff, which gave us a deeper insight into the work and life of the world-famous pianist.
For young pianists, Sir Andras Schiff’s performance of the D minor Concerto by JS Bach in the 1975 Leeds Piano Competition was a revelation. Here was a brilliant, young pianist who was not worried that a competition jury would only be impressed by a performance of one of the great romantic piano concertos. It showed an independence of spirit and clarity of thought that became the hallmarks of Sir Andras’s career. The rest as they say is history, Andras went on to make a huge impact on the musical world and formed a close relationship with audiences in London, especially at the Wigmore Hall, one of the finest halls for chamber music in the world. Andras felt at home in London, perhaps helped by the presence of George Malcolm, one of his mentors, an important figure in London’s musical life.
Following my appointment as Managing Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra in 1987, I made it a priority to invite Sir Andras to work regularly with the Orchestra. Fortunately for me, Andras had a very high regard for Otto Klemperer, the musical father of the Philharmonia. He had in Terry Harrison an astute and sympathetic manager who helped me to convince Andras of the musical potential of this relationship. It also helped that I was able to bring the great German conductor Kurt Sanderling to the Philharmonia, a musician in the same tradition as Klemperer.
What followed more than lived up to our expectations and Sir Andras’s concerts were always amongst the highlights of the London season. Programme planning usually took place over leisurely lunches at the Bombay Palace and, over time, focussed on creating cyclical projects of Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. This approach allowed Andras to give free rein to his artistic ideas and gave him an opportunity to direct and conduct the orchestra. He was an inspiration to work with, his musical ideas were compelling and the concerts full of energy and joie de vivre. With Andras, the players felt they were making chamber music together and they looked forward keenly to each collaboration. He was also very good company and post- concert dinners with Yuko were punctuated by an immense repertoire of jokes!
In 1991 I had the honour of joining the Board of trustees of IMS Prussian Cove, a remarkable seminar founded by Andras’s friend and colleague, the great Hungarian violinist, Sandor Vegh. Here I was able to observe Andras pass on to the young generation of musicians the musical ideals which guide his life. As a European rooted it the highest cultural values, he also gives a perspective on the world which is invaluable to musicians as they find their own musical identity.
It is both a pleasure and privilege to invite Sir Andras to Klosters in my role as Artistic Director of Klosters Music. As in London, his concerts are an absolute highlight of the festival. The natural beauty of the Swiss Alps creates a unique ambience in which to experience the profound musicianship of one of the most important pianists of our time.
David Whelton, 28/05/2021
David Whelton: The last 18 months have been exceptionally difficult for the arts with most concert activity suspended. In addition to the concerts you have been able to give, would you be kind enough to tell us how you have spent your time?
Sir András Schiff: To be honest I haven’t enjoyed this time although it was good to be at home and rest. However I have lost my rhythm of life, the urge to work, to study, there was no energy, no targets, no motivation. A serious lack of adrenalyne and a danger of depression. As a very disciplined person I managed to get up every day and practice and study but it wasn’t easy. There were some good things too, for example I took up cooking. A small repertoire of mostly Hungarian dishes but immensely satisfying.
The Wigmore Hall has the perfect equipment and there the cameras and microphones don’t intrude, you don’t even notice them. Elsewhere it’s a mixed bag, there have been some horrible experiences. Music is not a visual art. You can close your eyes and just listen. In a concert there are some visual elements but these are not the most important ones. Most television and film people don’t understand the essence of music, they are desperate to make it ‘interesting’ for the viewer. Instead of trusting the music and musicians they constantly interfere with frequent camera changes and thus interrupting the natural flow. There are few exceptions but this is almost the rule. As for the future, I hope that we’ll gradually get back to concerts with live audiences, although this will be a long process, first with a limited number of listeners. If there is also streaming, simultaniously, then so much the better. To me it’s better to play in the Wigmore Hall or the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza and have it streamed to Australia or the USA than having to go there and go through the nightmare of travelling.
Live concerts are irreplaceable. It’s a communal experience. It’s a one and only time, tomorrow it’ll be different.
A number of musicians have experimented with different concert formats in order to maintain live music making during the last 18 months. Are there any that you felt should be continued, or should we revert to the conventional format as soon as possible?
We have to think about this carefully but urgently. It’ll be difficult to bring people back into the concert halls although it’s clear how much they have been missing the arts and music. But there is the element of fear.
The way we go to concerts and follow a set of rules and routines is very stiff and old-fashioned and this needs to be challenged if we want to appeal to younger people. Let me mention a few examples. We musicians have been told by the presenters to give a precise programme, one or two or more years in advance. So that the public should know exactly what we’ll be playing. Is this a good thing? How do I know what I’ll be feeling like playing on August 6 in 2025? And why does the audience need to know everything in advance? Can’t we have a little bit of imagination, some surprises, some flexibility? I would like to announce the works on the spot, from the stage. Maybe to give the names of the composers in advance but not more. This is certainly possible in a piano recital although not in opera or symphonic concerts. Also, today we cannot expect to have audiences that are as well-informed and educated as they used to be when there was plenty of amateur music-making at home. Therefore we can make the concert a learning experience, talking about the compositions, inviting the public to listen. Of course it has to be done with subtlety, less is more.
What has been your most memorable musical experience during the last 12 months? Can you let us which was the most memorable book you read during lockdown?
As You know my very favourite composer has always been J.S.Bach. He is unique in every way. If I had to name his greatest achievement it would have to be The Art of Fugue. And yet this is the ONE major work of his that I have not yet learned. So I have to thank Covid that now I have the time to do just that. It’ll take many years. The pandemic hopefully will not… And in literature I’m reading Proust, in four languages, French (my weakest), English, German and Hungarian. A life-changing experience.
Non lockdown. I remember you speaking at length about Otto Klemperer when you were with my old orchestra in London. Which other musicians have been, and/or continue to be significant for you.
Yes, Klemperer. The older I get the more I admire him. Even next to Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Toscanini. He has no vanity, the others have plenty. No ego whatsoever. He really serves the composer, the work. His Missa Solemnis, Fidelio, Jupiter symphony, I could go on and on. Other artists of the past that I adore are Casals, Adolph Busch, Joseph Szigeti. Of the pianists, Schnabel, Cortot, Edwin Fischer. Also Annie Fischer.
Your performances are renowned for their integrity as well the sheer joy of music making. Looking ahead, do you see the younger generation embracing these values?
These are not good times for the performing arts. There is no lack of talent and many pianists play extremely well,fast and loud,without mistakes. These are the measurable elements. But this is not even technique, it’s only efficiency, good mechanics. Thechnique is much more, elegance, fantasy, imagination, tone quality, millions of coulours. Integrity means the utmost respect to the composer, fidelity to the text, but you also have to know how to read a text. Like with the old scriptures. And then to bring it to life. Musical notation is not perfect, far from it. There are so many tiny details that are impossible to write down, it’s an art of timing. You can’t teach that.
And yes, the joy of music. It’s much easier to make people cry than to make them smile or laugh. Music is a great privilege and joy and it’s a pleasure to share it with others.
Musical journey through time at the founding site of Klosters
On 4 August, virtuoso recorder player Maurice Steger, in dialogue with soprano Nuria Rial and the Basle-based La Cetra Baroque Orchestra Basel lets the audience immerse themselves deep in the history of Klosters: mystical sounds, the splendour of the Renaissance and the sensual worlds of the Baroque unfold 400 years of musical history in a wealth of tonal colours and effects.
First documented in 1222, only the Romanesque church tower remains of the original building of the former Premonstratensian monastery “Klösterli im Walt”. However, the church dedicated to St. Jacob, the actual founding site of Klosters, still captivates visitors today with its unique atmosphere, which is further emphasised by the stained glass windows surrounding Augusto Giacometti’s “Jacob’s Dream”. Another gem is the baroque house organ from 1686, which continues to delight organists and listeners alike. The outstanding acoustics of the church and the magnificent Goll organ built in 2018, with its 28 stops make St. Jakob a unique venue for organ concerts, solo evenings and historical music. Klosters Music pauses to enjoy the spirit of the founding years within its historic walls.
Maurice Steger about the specially for Klosters Music created programme: “The early baroque music of Monteverdi, Merula, Fontana and Castello could not spread more joie de vivre – a feast full of solid virtuosity! The anticipation of returning to Klosters is huge. For me, this is where relaxation and experiencing the breathtaking landscape are combined with the concentrated work on the music, feelings of home and enjoyment on all levels.”
The opening: Romantic Awakening
For the opening of Klosters Music 2022, the audience can look forward to an intriguing journey to romanticism and the sunny south. On this first evening, you can look forward to a reunion with Pablo Heras-Casado, who conducts the Munich Chamber Orchestra, which will be making its first guest appearance in Klosters. The technically and musically accomplished Ticino pianist Francesco Piemontesi also makes his debut in Grisons picture book holiday resort.
The fascinating journey, on Saturday, July 30, begins in Switzerland: the overture to Giaocchino Rossini’s Opera “William Tell” permits the eye to wander calmly over the impressive mountain landscape and develops into turbulent experience with stormy passages, the dance of the cows and the well-known mounted attack. The overture is followed by Robert Schuhmann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, played by Francesco Piemontesi. The Ticino native combines accuracy with a richness of tone colour that traces every emotion of the music’s soul. This makes him the perfect companion for exploring the depths of Schumann’s work. With the “Italian” Symphony in A major by Mendelssohn, Italy’s vibrant joie de vivre takes hearts by storm with turbulence, rapturous longing and cheerful dancing. The southern sun unfolds its full power at the end of the evening.
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ZEITREISE. A MUSICAL JOURNEY
From July 30 to August 7, 2022, the first-class classical concert series Klosters Music will take place for the fourth time in Klosters. In line with the 800-year anniversary of Klosters, the program of nine concerts takes the audience on a fascinating journey through time and space. Works are performed from the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Classical and the Romantic periods. With the famous musical “Singin’ in the Rain”, Klosters Music recalls the golden era of “Hollywood on the Rocks”, while in Atelier Bolt there is an exciting encounter between music and literature.
After only three performances, Klosters Music has already developed into a small but fine hotspot of classical music with national and international appeal. Once again, the exclusive concert series, which has become indispensable as a cultural and tourism factor for the region, will offer a programme with a superb cast next summer: a reunion with well-known masters of their craft, such as the pianist Sir András Schiff and the conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, among others. For the first time, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg conducted by Patrick Hahn, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Ensemble Philharmonix, and the Hagen Quartet, known as a great performer of chamber music, will be present. However, much can also be expected from the soloists: for example, soprano Nuria Rial, who specializes in Baroque music, will perform together with internationally acclaimed recorder player Maurice Steger, while the multi-award-winning violinist Arabella Steinbacher and the technically and musically skilled pianist Francesco Piemontesi will be heard playing the great soloist works by Brahms and Schumann and orchestra. With the musical “Singin’ in the rain”, Klosters Music evokes the glamour of “Hollywood on the Rocks”. The evening will take the audience back to those days when the star of the musical, Gene Kelly, danced on the tables of the hotel bar in the Chesa Grischuna. The Lucerne City Light Symphony Orchestra will play live music from the famous musical, which will be shown on the big screen. An exciting encounter between literature and music will be provided by the writer Alain Claude Sulzer and the pianist Oliver Schnyder, who will go in search of traces of Switzerland as a “pioneer in tourism” in Atelier Bolt.
Advance ticket orders are accepted as of now via the order form. Click here for programme and order form.
KLOSTERS MUSIC 30 JULY – 7 AUGUST 2022
In its fourth edition, Klosters Music celebrates the 800th anniversary of the founding of Klosters with a journey through time with concerts from the early Re- naissance to the present day. At the opening concert, the Munich Chamber Orchestra and Swiss Pianist, Francesco Piemontesi, conducted by Pablo Heras- Casado will take you back to the Romantic era with Mendelssohns’s “Italian Symphony” and Schumann’s Piano Concerto. The following evening, the interna- tionally renowned Freiburger Barockorchester – a guest in Klosters for the first time, – awaits you with masterpieces from the Baroque and early Classical periods. On Swiss National Day the ensemble Philhar- monix – The Vienna Berlin Music Club will entertain with a refreshing mix of classical, jazz, folk and pop. During the week, the flautist Maurice Steger and the Spanish soprano Nuria Rial will take the audience on a journey to the Middle Ages and thus to the founding era of Klosters in the Church of St. Jakob.
The second weekend of Klosters Music begins with a special event. In the 20th century, Klosters was also known as “Hollywood on the Rocks”. Inspired by great film stars of the day, the musical “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly will be shown on the big screen on Friday, 5 August, again with live orchestral music by the City Light Symphony Orchestra. This will be followed on Saturday by the outstanding orchestral concert with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg conducted by Riccardo Minasi with the overture from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Mendelssohn, Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 and the violin concerto by Brahms with Arabella Steinbacher. The crowning finale of the 2022 concert series will be the piano recital with Sir András Schiff on Sunday, 7 August.
Reserve the dates for Klosters Music today: Saturday 30 July to 7 August 2022. Online ticket sales will start on 1 March 2022. Advance orders can be made in writing from December 2021 via the flyer.
Great success for Klosters Music
From July 31 to August 8, Klosters Music took place for the third time under the motto “Heimat. My Homeland”. The audience experienced an exciting and energetic journey into the fascinating and rich world of Bohemian music from the 18th and 19th centuries. The interpreters of the eight concerts gave the more than 3,000 listeners in front of an almost sold-out audience unforgettable and unique musical moments.
The planning and performance of Klosters Music was again associated with high risks this year due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the audience and organizers were rewarded with musical delights and a smooth running of the events. This summer, the concert series has once again proven to be a qualitative highlight in the Swiss classical music season as well as an equally great enrichment for the destination of Klosters. Within the framework of the attractive programming of the artistic director David Whelton, former director of the London Philharmonia Orchestra, a true firework of music history was ignited. The international stars Sir András Schiff (piano), Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Steven Isserlis (cello), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (bass-baritone) and the sopranos Giulia Semenzato and Julie Fuchs allowed an enthusiastic audience to participate in the top-class musical performances with tangible immediacy and intensity. In addition to numerous solo performances, ensembles and smaller orchestral works, large-scale symphonies by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonín Dvořák and Johannes Brahms also made their appearance.
Media images in a higher resolution can be downloaded here.
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Gerne möchten wir einen Artikel von Christian Albrecht teilen, welcher am 5. August in der Südostschweiz über das Konzert «Zeitlose Pracht» erschienen ist: Hier geht es zum Artikel
A premiere of a special kind: Cinema Paradiso
On the last evening of Klosters Music 2021 there will be a large cinema: the timeless film classic “Cinema Paradiso” by the Sicilian master director Giuseppe Tornatore (* 1956) will be shown on the big screen. With its sensitive and elegiac visual language, the Oscar-winning work is dedicated to the story of the fictional Sicilian director Salvatore and the small fishing village of his childhood. Internationally renowned by now, Salvatore returns to his rural home to attend the funeral of the local film projectionist, Alfredo. The return, brought about by the death of his father’s friend, whom Salvatore was allowed to assist at the film screenings in his youth, leads him back to the world of memories and the images of his childhood. The music for the cinematic showpiece from 1988 comes from the masterful hand of composer Ennio Morricone and his son Andrea Morricone. Morricone, who was born in Rome in 1928 and died there in 2020, worked with Sergio Leone (“Play Me the Song of Death”), Bernardo Bertolucci, Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini, among others. He shaped Italian film music like no other. In Klosters, the wonderful music to the film will be performed live by the Lucerne City Light Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Thiago Tiberio. Tickets (from CHF 45) can be bought here.
One of the greatest works for cello
On the evening of 7 August, we will hear the sensitive British cellist Steven Isserlis and Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie perform Dvořák’s Concerto for Cello, composed in America in 1895. The work is regarded as one of the greatest compositions ever written for this instrument. Johannes Brahms, whose Symphony No. 1 will also be performed on 7 August, is said to have exclaimed enthusiastically after reading the score: “Why did I not know that a cello concerto like this could be written? If I had known, I would have written one a long time ago!” The first movement begins with the memorable main theme, and a melodic dialogue soon develops between the late cello and the orchestra. The second movement, dominated by longing and homesickness, quotes melodies from “Leave me alone”, the favourite song of Dvořák’s sister-in-law, who died in spring 1895. The third movement begins calmly, but gradually builds up to a captivating interplay of tempo, calm and intensity, only to fade away gently in a sensitive foreboding of painful longing.
In the run-up to the concert, Klosters Music was able to talk to the well-known cellist about Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and his collaboration with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, among other things.
Much has been written about the Dvořák cello concert and its place in the pantheon of the repertoire. In your view, what makes it such a great work?
The Dvořák concerto was, I think, the first classical piece of music with which I truly fell in love – so I’ve lived with it for a long time! And I love it even more now than i did then. It has everything – heroism, joy, tragedy, a plethora of gorgeous melodies and a folk-like simplicity of spirit that allows it to speak directly from the heart.
What is it about your musical relationship with DKB that is so special?
The DKB is a very, very special orchestra. Every time I play with them, it is as if we’re playing chamber music. Each member of the orchestra is fully committed to the music they play – extraordinary.
Which book have you most enjoyed reading during lockdown?
Hmmm…I’ve read quite a lot – novels, spy thrillers, non-fiction, etc. Since several books were by people I know, and I don’t want to offend anyone by not mentioning them, maybe I will just go for Silas Marner by George Eliot. What a writer!
Your on-line masterclasses have been immensely popular – is this a format that you will use in the future?
Well, I’d prefer live classes – but I’m happy for them to be filmed. I so much enjoy working with young people – it feels like both a duty and a pleasure.
A great voice rises in the bucolic mountain landscape
After a successful opening weekend the concert week begins with an evening devoted entirely to the magnificent music of the Baroque. The Zurich Orchestra La Scintilla and the French soprano Julie Fuchs give a guest performance in Klosters. Klosters Music spoke to the evening’s soloist Julie Fuchs in the run-up to the concert.
When and why did you decide to spend your life with music?
I didn’t! As a child, I loved dancing, and also took violin lessons. After being introduced to making music with the violin, a few years later, I joined a children’s choir and shifted my focus to singing, which I loved even more! I continued to study music and also theater to see where it would lead me, but there wasn’t really a point when I decided that this would for sure be my career…I was just going with the flow and doing what I loved!
The works you sing in Klosters: What is your relationship to them?
Baroque music has always been part of my artistic life. I think its really the beginning of Bel Canto. It touches my heart directly and it’s a musical style which gives a lot of freedom to the interpreters. And I love freedom.
For the future: What would be your dream regarding singing? Any special works? And if yes: Why?
I am very lucky that I have sung and will sing several of my dream roles, and that there are two more dream role debuts to come during this 2021/22 season, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, and Melisande in Pelléas et Mélisande. In general, keeping my repertoire varied while including a lot of Mozart and bel canto is a priority. I would love to sing Manon and Violettta one day, but I have to see how my voice continues to develop!
Regarding Klosters: What are you looking forward to?
While part of the ensemble at the Opernhaus Zürich, I fell in love with beautiful Switzerland, so I am always happy to discover and perform in different areas of this beautiful country. Most often, opera houses are in big cities, yet I love being in nature, so I am also excited to be in such a bucolic setting in the mountains, and share this music that I love with a new audience.
Anything else you would like to say?
I start my season with Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea in one of my favorite productions of all time by Calixto Bieito. If those that live in Kloster or near Zürich would like to see me in an opera, I can’t recommend this amazing piece enough! Here is the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyZqSr8Z-Ho
It is clear from this year’s Klosters Music programme that the world of music and the developments within the musical universe inhabit almost infinite dimensions. Just how tangible this infinity is is described by the musician and composer František Janoska, who, along with his virtuoso ensemble, we will have the honour of welcoming on 1 August. In the following interview he gives a fascinating in-depth insight into the musical roots of the Janoska Ensemble and into the position of folk music influences, both past and present. Informative and entertaining, this interview is well worth reading. František Janoska’s reflections on Bohemian music, his arrangements and his own compositions are the ideal aperitif to whet your appetite for the “Bohemian Rhapsodies”.
To what extent does music mean “home“ to the Janoskas? Especially given their intense relationship with the music of their homeland.
In the context of music we associate the term folk music most closely with the word “homeland”. By this we mean the melodies that we heard as children, that our mothers sung to us, that we somehow picked up and hummed along to – we still have all these songs, tunes and melodies in our heads and pass them on – consciously or subconsciously – to our own children. In our geographical homeland, the one where we grew up, Slovakian and Hungarian were spoken and of course there were and are musical similarities as well as clashes. For example, we know of folk songs that were originally Hungarian and were translated into the other language and were then, so to speak, no longer seen as adaptations but as their “own” songs, and of course the reverse was also true. But both – as Kodály said – took root and were absorbed with our “mother’s milk”. It is also important to say that we grew up in a family heavily influenced by music and were exposed from a very early age to a wide variety of music styles. We all have a particular passion for composers who lived and worked in our region and were therefore akin to role models for us. Composers such as Franz Liszt, Bela Bartók, W. A. Mozart and Joseph Haydn. For us these composers live on in this world and are always here for us, always present. For the Janoska Ensemble, the word “home” also means the place where we make music, which for us is primarily the stage. The important thing in this respect is that we are inspired by music at any time and in any place. We are mainly interested in local folk music and its rhythms and seek it out, listen to it, play it and ultimately like to incorporate what we have heard into our improvisation.
To what extent does music give you a sense of identity? At home as well as abroad.
Rhythm and dance are important hallmarks of music. They are felt and experienced most intensively throughout childhood and through children’s songs, rhymes and folk tunes, they become “rooted”. It is much the same as learning a language. The rhythm, the beat and the intonation are the building blocks and always remain with us, through childhood and beyond, regardless of where we settle or move to later.
How does František Janoska approach his work as composer in terms of the interplay between tradition and the present day?
The Slovakian, Hungarian and Austrian origin is deeply rooted in František’s compositional works and is one of the key themes. This is reflected, for example, in his “Janoska Symphony No. 1” in three movements known as “Bratislava”, “Vienna” and “Budapest”. František explains: “The work represents a journey in three scenes through countries and cities in the Danube region, whose long musical tradition has influenced me musically since childhood. The themes are completely independent, new compositions and in each movement I have incorporated a musical quotation as a miniature as a small musical nod to my childhood; that is to say a few seconds of a melody that is typical of and familiar to the country in question. And in each movement an instrument appears that is typical of the country in question.” In the first movement this is the Slovakian shepherd’s flute, the Fujara. This is certainly the first time this has been heard in a “classical” symphonic work. For Vienna the zither is used and in the third movement the exotic tárogató makes its appearance. This “wooden saxophone” is an old Hungarian folk instrument and has a uniquely soft sound.
What challenges and aims does this involve?
As described in the example of “Janoska Symphony No.1“, not only can this musical “DNA“ not be denied, it literally bursts forth in the context of a new composition, comes to life again and presents itself and a refined form. The important thing here is to find one’s own “authentic” formula and stay true to it, i.e. to one’s own style.
Every composer has their own way of writing and František writes in a very harmonious world, best explained in his own words as follows: “I am a 21st century composer but I was and am a romantic. That’s to say I write beautiful, harmonic melodies but allow the musicians a lot of freedom to bring their own musical interpretation to the pieces, not only for compositions for the Janoska Ensemble, but also for symphonic pieces. In each of my compositions there are improvisation sections that give entirely free reign for interpretation. This personal touch puts its own stamp on each interpretation and performance and so gives the piece something very individual, even unique. But for me it is very important that something new emerges from each piece. I am, as it were, open to ‘experiments’ and always want to see a development. On the whole I think that constant development is an important factor.”
What is the Janoska Ensemble looking forward to in Klosters?
Klosters is wonderful. We’ve been here before and are especially looking forward to the surroundings, the impression of unspoiled nature, the magnificent landscape, the green meadows, the incredible panorama with its imposing mountains. We can especially remember the space, the incredible vastness that you experience here, truly a gift from Nature. We reflect this “space” in the concert in free improvisations and simply enjoy the good vibes from this as well as interacting with the very international audience. And then of course there is the cuisine and the fantastic hospitality.
How does the ensemble see the future for music in terms of being rooted in the folk music tradition?
As I said earlier, folk music always has a firm anchor. For example, multicultural Vienna is a mix of many cultures, styles and ultimately traditions. Folk music has a future if composers incorporate it into their works and by doing so bring it to the attention of the wider public. For example, it is because of Astor Piazzolla that we know about the tango and because of Carlos Jobim that we have come to love the samba. But even the classical composers have all been inspired by folklore. Would the whole world know about Hungarian rhapsodies if Liszt or Brahms had not written them? I very much doubt it!
Many composers, from Schubert, Beethoven or Haydn to Dvořák, Liszt and Brahms to Bartok, Pärt or Lutoslawski dedicated a considerable part of their work to folklore and incorporated traditional melodies in their works.
The Janoska Ensemble is also committed to folklore, clearly acknowledges the language of folk in its compositions and with virtuoso improvisations in the “Janoska style” puts its multicultural stamp on works from all countries of origin.
The “Janoska style“ cannot be explained in a single sentence, because it would take a long time to list all the biological and artistic ingredients that make up this style, but it can perhaps be summed up as follows: The “Janoska style” is a new, jointly created musical vision, a mix of classical, jazz, pop and other stylistic elements. Perhaps the most important ingredient of this musical collaboration is the forgotten art of improvisation in classical music.
Will it continue to evolve to keep pace with time?
So far it has stood the test of time, after all, the musical universe is infinite, tangibly so, which is to say that music is constantly developing in all its parameters including instrumentation, sound editing and playback, harmony and interaction with other media. Folk music as well as our own roots or “musical home” will always play an important individual role in this regard, because it keeps reinventing itself. It evolves in a kind of “contemporary balance” and – in our case – the “Janoska style” described earlier.
Order concert tickets now.
Tuesday, 3 August: Splendid music and a great voice: Julie Fuchs
It is a great pleasure for us to welcome soprano Julie Fuchs, born in Meaux (F) in 1984, to Klosters for the first time this year. Together with the Zurich orchestra La Scintilla, the singer and studied violinist will bring elegant and dramatic arias by George Friedrich Handel and Antonio Vivaldi to the stage on the evening of 3 August. Fuchs, who served as a permanent member of the Zurich Opera House ensemble from 2013 to 2015, has been honoured with numerous prizes and awards throughout her career. We are delighted that Julie Fuchs has now also found a musical home in Klosters. The concert concludes with the 3rd Brandenburg Concert by Johann Sebastian Bach.
A world tour for the Swiss National Day
Klosters Music celebrates Swiss National Day together with the “Janoska Ensemble” with a trip around the world. This is however without leaving our homeland in the true sense of the word. Because “musically, we associate the term ‘homeland’ above all with folk music: by this we mean those melodies that we heard in childhood, that our mother sang to us, that we picked up somewhere and hummed along to; we still have all these songs, tunes and melodies in our heads and pass them on – consciously and also unconsciously – to our own children today,” says František Janoska. So let’s head off to distant homelands and listen to the memories the “Janoskas” share with us Antonin Dvořák’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me”, composed in 1880 for vocal and piano, and Roman Janoska’s own composition “Hello Prince!”. Astor Piazzolla’s “Oblivion” (newly in place of Adiós Nonino” in the programme), composed in 1982 as film music track for the Italian drama Henry IV, takes us as far as Argentina. The “Bohemian Rhapsody”, with which the front man of the pop group “Queen” made history in 1975, also went around the world. Further information about the concert can be found here.
Due to a broken finger Ondrej Janoska (violin) unfortunately cannot participate in the concert. Nevertheless, the Janoska Ensemble will still perform. Moreover, we are pleased to welcome another member of the Janoska family: Arpád Janoska (singer) will perform as a surprise guest on Piazzolla’s Tango. The program can be kept for the most part. We are convinced that the Janoska Ensemble will make the concert an event thanks to their great art of improvisation And we at this point wish Ondrej Janoska a speedy recovery!
Fabulous opening weekend
Only a few more days and the annual concert series of Klosters Music will begin with a fabulous weekend. Even on the first day, after a festive welcome, we are plunged into the musical world of Bohemia in the 19th century.
The evening of 31 July is dedicated to the special relationship that the Salzburg composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) cultivated with the Bohemian metropolis.
At the beginning, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, conducted for the first time by the well-known Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša, will play Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, the “Prague Symphony”.
“A Gift from Heaven”
Hrůša says of the magic of Mozart’s music, which can still be felt in Prague today: “Mozart in Prague” that is a historical phenomenon per se. We all love Mozart’s music because it is a gift from heaven. Not everyone felt that way during his lifetime. Knowing that Mozart spent some of the happiest moments of his short life in Prague warms my heart. I still remember well that when I conducted in the State Theatre for the first time, I was standing in the exact same place as Wolfgang hundreds of years before. The very same place, marked with a memorial plaque. I felt filled with inspiration and overwhelmed with awe. It was beautiful.” The arias and duets from Mozart’s operas Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, sung by the renowned Italian soprano Giulia Semenzato and the distinguished baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann, also sound enchanting. In addition to dramatic and elegant arias, the “Prague Symphony” and the overture from “Le Nozze di Figaro”, the Piano Concerto No.23 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be another highlight of the evening. The concerto, played by the up-and-coming and multi-award-winning French pianist Lucas Debargue, is considered one of Mozart’s greatest creations ever.
Songs our mother sang
The second evening of the opening weekend with the virtuoso Janoska Ensemble is dedicated to the tradition of Bohemian rhapsody and folk song.
The varied programme includes “melodies we heard as children, the lullabies our mothers sang, the pieces that stayed in our heads and ears and are still with us today. We carry all this music in our minds, consciously or unconsciously, and pass it on to our children,” says Fantišek Janoska.
The evening began with Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp minor, a weighty and dance-like homage by a homeless man to his homeland, followed by Antonin Dvořák’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me”, composed in 1880 for voice and piano. Když mne stará matka zpívat učívala”), the fourth song from a cycle of seven gypsy songs with texts by the Czech poet Adolf Heyduk (1835-1923). With “Hello Prince!” by Roman Janoska, the ensemble transports us to the immediate musical present with its first original composition. The “Janoskas” take an outspoken step into the recent past with the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”, with which the front man of the rock group “Queen”, Freddie Mercury, who was born in India in 1946 and died in 1991, wrote pop history in 1975. The piece, which in its original form can be divided into six sections, was released, among other things, from the album “A Night at the Opera”. The German composer and musicologist Hartmut Fladt writes about Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”: “The whole thing is a declaration of love to the opera of the late 19th century, which is, however, cleverly staged with 20th century means. The song is a very intelligent piece of postmodern pop culture.” After the excursion into the world of pop music, the “Janoskas” take us on a long journey to South America and dedicate themselves to the Tango Nuevo with Astor Piazzolla’s “Adiós Nonino”. Piazzolla composed the piece in 1959 as a tribute to his late father. The brilliant finale of the evening is František Janoska’s well-known and popular original composition Esterházy Rhapsody No. 1 “Old Times – Young Notes”.
Excurstion to Bad RagARTz on 2 August 2021
Klosters Music has come up with something special for the concert-free day on 2 August. A wonderful opportunity has arisen to take a fascinating trip into the visual arts by visiting the 8th Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture, Bad RagARTz. There are a total of 400 sculptures by 83 artists from all over the world to discover. Guests of Klosters Music will be guided through the exhibition by art historian Andrin Schütz while taking a leisurely stroll in the immaculate parks of Bad Ragaz. A highly recommended, relaxed and at the same time inspiring excursion into the world of international art and into the wonderful nature at the gateway to Graubünden. The transfer Klosters-Bad Ragaz-Klosters is organised by Klosters Music. Follow this link for the registration.
Jérémie Rhorer conducts in place of Maxim Emelyanychev
Unfortunately Maxim Emelyanychev has had to withdraw from his appearance at Klosters Music this year due to the still challenging travel conditions as a result of the Covid pandemic. In place of Maxim Emelyanychev, we are pleased to welcome the French Conductor Jérémie Rhorer. Ticket holders for the two concerts have already been informed separately.
Jérémie Rhorer is one of the most exciting and versatile conductors of his generation equally at home in the Concert Hall and Opera House. Founder and Music Director of Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Jérémie Rhorer has conducted at Europe’s most prestigious festivals including Aix-en-Provence, Glyndebourne, Edinburgh, the BBC Proms and Salzburg. He has a close relationship with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and has led productions at the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera and La Monnaie in Brussels. As a guest conductor, Jérémie performs with the major European orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Orchestre de Paris and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with whom he is conducting a Tchaikovsky Cycle.
Book the tickets now for the concerts on 6 August 2021 (only few tickets left) and 7 August 2021.
Vernissage for the exhibition of prints by Le Corbusier at Atelier Bolt
A world-class artistic surprise awaits visitors to this year’s Klosters Music: as part of the cooperation with the Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture, Bad RagARTz, an exhibition of important prints by the world-famous architect, artist and designer Le Corbusier (1887-1965) will be on display in Christian Bolt’s studio in Klosters from 31 July to 31 October. The prints were edited by Heidi Weber in Zurich in the early 1960s and commissioned in Paris from the famous lithographer Fernand Mourlot. The exhibition of works from the permanent collection of the Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture Foundation – a donation by Ms Weber – offers a rare opportunity to experience various self-contained graphic work cycles by Le Corbusier in their entirety.
opening hours: Monday to Friday 10am – 12am / 2pm – 5pm, or by prior agreement by telephone at +41 79 715 43 83
Address: Atelier Bolt, Doggilochstrasse 121, Klosters
Show your colours: We sell flags in the Klosters Music design.
On 31 July, Klosters will be transformed into a place of musical excellence. We would like to celebrate this by decorating Klosters with flags in our design. In addition to flagpoles, which are provided thanks to the generosity of local hotels and shops, we also produce flags for private households on request (cost: Fr. 200.-). As a thank you, we would like to give you a gift voucher in the value of Fr. 100.- for any concert of Klosters Music which can be redeemed this or next year. If you would like to attend, please contact us by email at email@example.com by Friday, 16 July 2021. We will arrange the production and distribution of the flag.
Music for timeless moments
On 4 August St. Jakob Church will play host to the keenly anticipated organ recital “Between Here and There – A time there was” with the talented organist and improviser Rudolf Lutz. This promises to be an evening of special and above all unique musical moments. The evening will begin with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude in B Minor and end with his Fugue in B-Minor and these compositions will bookend organ renditions and improvisations by Rudolf Lutz of works by Mozart, Dvořák and Schubert.
Entrance is free of charge (collection) but for reasons of capacity it is required to book in advance. To register, please use the online form. You can register from today.
Read here about what Rudolf Lutz himself says about the unique evening in Klosters and about safe havens, remembrance and feelings of homesickness:
“To be homesick you have to have a homeland, a home. For me, Bach is both a rock and a safe haven. His late Prelude and Fugue in B Minor provide the framework for this programme. They bookend my own interpretation of the 2nd movement of Dvořák’’s symphony ‘From the New World’. The lyrical leitmotif reminds me of the view from the Hotel Waldhaus onto Lake Sils, bathed in evening light. This wonderful music echoes my own longing. Can music express homesickness? Or is it perhaps the memory of homesickness. You will also hear Mozart’s Rondo in A Minor. For me it is filled with an indescribable autumn light, as reflected in the words of Luisa Famos:
‹Per mai es stat quel di ‹For me that day
L’ultim da mi’utuon the last day of my autumn,
Tant glüminusa so full of light,
Preferida was the best of all days;
Tuot oter d’eir il tschêl so different the sky
D’ün blau chafuol deep blue,
Masdà da desideris e dümperar interwoven with wishes and
Dumandas sainza gnir respusas.› unanswered questions.›
(From the poetry collection “eu sun la randolina d’ünsacura”, translated by Mevina Puorger.)
The improvisations are made up on the spot. Some of Schubert’s melodies are interwoven in a Lutzian ‘garland of songs’. You will hear these and other creations for the first and last time on 4 August.”
2 July 2021 – a feast for the eyes and ears
On Friday 2 July, before indulging in the delightful music of the Argentine cello star Sol Gabetta and the sensitive and virtuoso keyboard artistry of the South African Kristian Bezuidenhout, guests of Klosters Music will have the opportunity to take part in three exclusive and expert guided tours of Europe’s biggest open-air exhibition.
The 8th Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture, known as Bad RagARTz, will feature around 450 works by 83 artists from all over the world. At 10:30, 13:00 and 15:00, the art historian Andrin Schütz and his colleagues will take the concert audience on an hour-long tour of the artworks in the Kurpark.
Enjoy this leisurely and inspiring art tour. This is a day full of art and music that you will not want to miss, so be sure to reserve your tickets soon for the Klosters Music concert in the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz at 18:00 or 20:30. You can book your concert tickets here. Information and registration for the guided tours (CHF 25) can be found here.
Art and music: Bad RagARTz and Klosters Music
People who are open to the charms of music are usually also sensitive to the visual arts. And those who love art also love music. In order to bring these two strands together in their entirety across the regions, Klosters Music and the Swiss Triennial of Sculpture Bad RagARTz have come together this summer to deliver two outstanding events. In keeping with the motto of this year’s Bad RagARTz: “Distance sharpens the eye and art creates closeness”. And this “closeness” is important, reports Rolf Hohmeister:
“I am passionate about connecting people and generations through culture. And these connections must go far beyond the regions, Hohmeister continues. Because: “In this way, we deepen people’s cultural awareness. But not only this: We mutually strengthen our positions and our events. We know that shared enjoyment brings a range of benefits. We can look forward to this shared enjoyment again on 2 July in Bad Ragaz at the preview of Klosters Music as part of the jointly organised concert “Second Home”. While Klosters Music moves into the beautiful Rhine landscape, Bad RagARTz is starting out in the imposing mountain world of Klosters:
During the summer concerts, guests of Klosters Music can expect a world-class artistic surprise in the studio of Klosters sculptor Christian Bolt. But we are not revealing any more details on this just now. More information can be found here.
“Second home”: Additional concert with Sol Gabetta and Kristian Bezuidenhout
On 2 July 2021, the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz will host the additional concert “Second Home”. The concert is actually the start of the collaboration between Klosters Music and the Swiss Triennial of Sculpture. The Grand Resort is an excellent venue for this special concert with a star-studded line-up. We look forward to seeing the wonderful cellist Sol Gabetta and the outstanding pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout, who will perform sonatas for cello and piano by Mendelssohn and Brahms.
While Mendelssohn’s Sonata No. 1 in B flat major initially sounds playful and light in the first movement, it soon develops into an exciting narrative carried by the cello. The second movement, in turn, is gently inspired, while the third movement is marked by melancholy and sometimes turbulent drama at the same time. The Sonata for Violoncello and Piano No. 1 in E minor by Johannes Brahms may be described as the first work of his more mature period. While he composed most of the sonata in 1862 in the idyllic spa town of Bad Münster am Stein, the last movement was composed in 1865. The first movement is elegiac in its breadth, giving us a sense of the serene tranquillity of the spa stay. The middle movement is characterised by a dance-like and almost teasing lightness that reminds us of Schubert and Chopin, while the last movement reflects the complex musical architecture of Bach’s fugue.
Due to the high number of visitors expected and the Coronavirus measures in force, the concert will be performed twice in the Kursaal of the Grand Resort on the evening of 2 July: 6:00 pm and 8.30 pm (concert duration 65 minutes). Detailed information can be found here.
Thursday, 5 August: A Musical Master’s Journey with Sir András Schiff
Born in Budapest in 1953, Sir András Schiff is today regarded as one of the world’s most sought-after and above all most versatile pianists. At Klosters Music, he will introduce the audience with his master’s touch to masterpieces from the musical cradle of Europe and will present works by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms on 5 August 2021. Sir András Schiff, who has been awarded several international prizes, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in June 2014 for his services to music.
Start of ticket sale «Heimat. My Homeland»
The time has finally come again: Klosters Music starts the ticket pre-sale for the concerts from 31 July to 8 August. As you can see from the programme brochure and the homepage, our artistic director, David Whelton, has once again succeeded in designing and delivering a programme which offers outstanding quality and thrilling musical drama. Under the motto “Heimat. My Homeland” you will go on a journey to the musical cradle of Europe with outstanding orchestras, great soloists, wonderful voices and internationally renowned conductors and enjoy the charm of Bohemia in the 18th and 19th century. We hope you enjoy this year’s musical highlights in Klosters, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Graubünden Alps.
Tickets with seat-specific booking for all concerts are now available online or at the tourist offices in Klosters and Davos. Social distancing is observed when booking by blocking seats between groups of visitors.
Saturday, 7 August: A moving concert and a sensitive cellist
Under the baton of the Russian conductor Maxim Emelyanychev, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the British cellist Steven Isserlis will lead us through a special evening on 7 August: the concert will open with the overture from «The Bartered Bride» by Bedřich Smetana, while Antonin Dvořák’s Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in B minor will form the centrepiece of the evening. Born in London in 1958, Isserlis, whose family tree can be traced back to Felix Mendelssohn, has been honoured for his musical merits with numerous accolades, including the «Order of the British Empire». This evening of contrasts concludes with Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor.
The great tradition of the rhapsody
Originally a poem performed by “rhapsodes”, minstrels in ancient Greece, the rhapsody has over the centuries become an integral part of Bohemian folk music and has increasingly informed the work of many classical music composers, including Dvořák, Brahms, Smetana and Liszt. On 1 August the Bratislava-based Janoska Ensemble will take the Klosters Music audience on a journey through the great tradition of the rhapsody past and present, right up to the compositions of František Janoska himself. To get an initial impression of fascinating technical virtuosity and experience the ensemble’s joy of playing, go to the following link.
Klosters, still David Whelton’s artistic home
Friday 6 August: Thoughts from home. My Homeland
Intimate ties with home, a breezy cheerfulness and unfamiliar sounds from faraway lands will fill the air on the evening of 6 August. In his famous “Moldau” from the “My Fatherland” cycle, Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884) transports us on a musical journey along the river of his beloved homeland and beyond. Written in 1874, the piece follows the course of the mighty river through forests and meadows, skitters over rapids and eventually fades quietly into the distance. In contrast, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major (“The Turkish”), performed by Christian Tetzlaff, is at turns strong and whimsical. The varied programme ends with Antonín Dvořák’s joyous Symphony No. 8 in G major from 1889. Performed by the violin virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under the direction of the young Russian composer Maxim Emelyanychev, this inspiring and rousing piece is guaranteed to have the audience in raptures.
Mozart and Prague: A Special Love
The very first evening of Klosters Music 2021 will make the hearts of all music lovers and especially aficionados of the great Salzburg composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) beat faster: together with the Basel Chamber Orchestra conducted by the renowned Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša, the French pianist Lucas Debargue, the Italian soprano Giulia Semenzato and the German baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann, we will follow in the footsteps of Mozart, who visited Prague at least four times.
Klosters Music takes you away for an evening into the charm and vibrant musical life of the Bohemian metropolis of the 18th century, where Mozart celebrated great successes with “Le nozze di Figaro”, “Don Giovanni” and “La clemenza di Tito”, among others. The opening evening of Klosters Music 2021 will therefore be dedicated to Mozart’s special musical relationship with Prague, which is said to have led him to exclaim enthusiastically, “My Praguers understand me!” The fact that Mozart found a musical home in Prague is shown, among other things, by the fact that Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 was premiered in Prague in 1787, which is why it is often referred to as the “Prague Symphony”. This fascinating musical masterpiece is a wonderful “prelude” to the start of the first evening in Klosters, followed by the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, which is considered one of Mozart’s greatest musical creations. After a short break, overtures and sensitive arias from “Le nozze di Figaro” and “Don Giovanni” among others, let the soul float.
Sparkling energy and precision: Giulia Semenzato, soprano
A great joy for all friends of the great Mozart arias: After the ambitious CD recording “Angelica Diabolica” with the Basel Chamber Orchestra at the beginning of the year, the splendid Italian soprano Giulia Semenzato returns to Switzerland in July and will honour Klosters Music on the first concert evening. Semenzato, who completed her vocal studies at the “Benedetto Marcello” Conservatory in Venice with distinction in 2015 and subsequently specialised in baroque music at the “Schola Cantorum” in Basel with Rosa Dominguez, was a prize-winner at the International Competition “Toti dal Monte” in Treviso in 2012. She is also a prize-winner of the “Cesti Singing Competition” in Innsbruck 2014 and received the “Premio Farinelli” as the best baroque singer. However, the young singer and law graduate is not only at home in Baroque, but is also endlessly fascinated by the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
In February 2015, Semenzato made her debut as “Celia” at Teatro alla Scala in Mozart’s “Lucio Silla” under the baton of Marc Minkowski and was heard in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, the Requiem and as “Zerlinda” in “Don Giovanni”, among other roles. What is outstanding about Giulia Semenzato’s singing is the soprano’s gift for combining palpable power, sparkling energy and the highest precision and sensitivity at the same time.
Interview with Giulia Semenzato
We had the opportunity to ask the exceptional soprano a few questions in the run-up to Klosters Music:
KM: Ms. Semenzato. Thanks for giving us some of your time. You did some of your studies in Basel. Has Basel become a kind of “home” for you? What do you like about Basel?
GS: I did my Master’s degree in Basel. The city means a lot to me: it was my first life experience abroad, in what is perhaps the best school for early music in Europe, Schola Cantorum, and in a multicultural, international environment: it is very easy to meet people from all over the world, not only in the school, but across the whole city. Basel signifies a huge step in my musical development, and I also made a lot of new good friends there. I find it the perfect city: not too big, lots of opportunities and a very rich cultural life. I find it incredible how you can have so many museums, an opera theatre, a variety of concert venues, and all this within a stone’s throw of woods, hills and rivers! I believe it is the perfect place to live. I always feel very welcome in Basel and I come back as often as I can.
KM: Have you been to “Graubünden” and Klosters before?
GS: I have never been to Graubünden and I am looking forward to discovering it! Rich in nature and culture, it sounds amazing!
KM: What does music mean to you personally? Why is music so important to you and maybe for us all?
GS: For me, music is above all a universal language. There is no skill or education required to appreciate music. Anyone can understand its emotional message and that is why it has a strong power of communication and connection between people. This is always central to my performances: when we play music and we listen to music played live, a kind of “timeless” moment is created, a moment when we forget about our daily routine, and through sound and theatre we attune to our inner being. This is also why I encourage people who have never been to opera theatre to go and experience it and see that anyone can enjoy it. It is very sad though that in our schools, history of music is still not given the same importance as history of art.
KM: How can music, in your opinion, influence and shape a society, given that music is always an expression of era and a culture status? Are there any examples which you think were or are symbolic in these aspects?
GS: Music has always followed social development and changes, it has accompanied every important historical event (marriages of kings, deaths of princesses, but also changes of political powers, political oppositions). What I love when I approach a new composition, is to firstly understand the context of how and when a piece was born: for example “Ercole Amante” by Francesco Cavalli, which I sang in 2019 at “Opéra Comique” in Paris was composed for the coronation of Luis XIV!! We all know the importance of this French emperor, and it is so fascinating to be able to know and hear which music accompanied this event.
KM: Regarding your current recording in Basel: Can you tell us something about this? How did this recording come about?
GS: I wanted to sing a program about a strong, free-minded woman, someone who is not afraid to follow her true feelings, to fight for her beliefs. I met Giovanni Andrea Sechi some years ago and when I explained my concept, he suggested to create a program about the women of Orlando Furioso.
KM: What will we hear from you once the recording is finished? The different “Angelicas”: It seems to be about strong-willed, intelligent and powerful women that are going their own way. With which of the several versions of “Angelica” do you identify most and why? Or is a part of each “Angelica” in all of us?
GS: “Angelica” is indeed the main character of Ludovico Ariosto’s poem, but the CD traces a path through many of the women in the story: Bradamante, Ginevra, Melissa, Alcina… When I was in secondary school I read many rhymes, they are a masterpiece of Italian literature, but when I recently came back to read these I did so with a different eye: maybe more mature, more able to discover the different characteristics of these women.
Angelica is strong but also aware of her power on all the men she encounters. I am absolutely fascinated by this self-awareness, and her ability to lie to the Chavalier Orlando in order to get rid of him and thus deeply and freely love Medoro, the simple soldier. A love that defies the conventions of who a princess should fall in love with. I definitely see myself as a non-conventional person, quite stubborn, but I am a very bad liar, I just can’t hide it!
KM: Regarding Klosters: Why are you looking forward to this small and exclusive event?
GS: I am very much looking forward to singing at Klosters Music which is regarded as a very special and high quality festival to which top level artists are invited.
KM: Which characters will be on stage and what is your relationship to them?
GS: I will sing some of “Susanna’s” arias and duets from “Le nozze di Figaro”, and “Donna Anna’s” aria, which I never performed on an opera stage before.
KM: What is your relationship to Mozart’s music?
GS: I have had the pleasure of performing in many operas by W.A. Mozart already, and mostly in the role we normally call the Soubrette-Fach: “Susanna”, “Despina”, “Zerlina” (also with Basel Chamber Orchestra), “Serpetta”, “Celia”. Most of them are lower class characters (servants, maids), who are nevertheless witty, sincere, down to earth and very skilled.
KM: Do you particularly like some of them?
GS: I love how “Despina” teaches her two sisters to love frivolously; I love how Susanna is faithful to “Figaro” and her developing relationship with the Countess. I enjoy playing both sides of “Zerlina”: on the one hand attracted to “Don Giovanni’s” power, and on the other the honesty towards “Masetto”. I believe I learn something from each of the characters I play. Mozart can always teach us something, even after 275 years!!
Famous names and international stars
David Whelton has once again succeeded in enlisting international stars for the concert series, which has meanwhile developed huge appeal throughout Switzerland. The audience can look forward to famous names such as Steven Isserlis (cello), Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Giulia Semenzato (soprano), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (baritone) as well as the star conductors Jakub Hrůša and Maxim Emelyanychev, to name but a few. Likewise, it is a special pleasure that Sir András Schiff (piano) and soprano Christiane Karg will honour Klosters again with their performances in the summer of 2021.
Yearning for home
Under the motto “Heimat. My Homeland”, Klosters Music will take the audience on an exciting journey into the musical world of 18th and 19th century Bohemian Romanticism on a total of eight concert evenings from Saturday 31 July to Sunday 8 August. While Mozart’s love of Prague is the musical focus at the beginning of the concert series with Symphony No. 38 in D major (“Prague Symphony”) and Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major and a selection of arias and overtures, the second evening with the Janoska Ensemble will focus on the great tradition of rhapsody from past to present. The Orchestra La Scintilla and Christiane Karg promise a homage to the splendour of the Baroque, while the organist Rudolf Lutz turns to well-known themes and improvisations on Bach, Mozart, Schubert and Dvořák on 4 August. In turn, Sir András Schiff will take the audience on a real master’s journey to the musical cradle of Europe on 5 August with a selection of works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms. Under the direction of Maxim Emelyanychev, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and violinist Christian Tetzlaff unfold the tension between the homeland and strangers with Bedřich Smetana’s famous “Moldau” and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major on the following day. Another highlight is Antonín Dvořák’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, performed on 7 August by Steven Isserlis and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under the baton of Russian conductor Maxim Emelyanychev. This masterpiece allows us to experience first-hand not only Dvořák’s profound homesickness during this creative period in the US but also his sense of loss following the death of his beloved at this time. The concert series will conclude with “Cinema Paradiso”, also a premiere: for the first time, Klosters Music will be dedicated to film and film music.
Premiere for a timeless classic
Enjoy the Oscar-winning masterpiece “Cinema Paradiso” by Sicilian director Giuseppe Tornatore (*1956) on the big screen. The impressive images about friendship, strangers and love are accompanied by the wonderful film music of the Italian composer Ennio Morricone who died in 2020, and his son Andrea Morricone (*1964), played live by the experienced and successful City Light Symphony Orchestra from Lucerne under the direction of Thiago Tiberio, who is wholly committed to the performance of film music. A timeless film classic with German and English subtitles.
Nov. 5, 2020, 20.00: Broadcast of the Opera Gala on SRF 2 Kultur
For those who could not be present in the concert hall of the Klosters Arena on the evening of 2nd August («Opera Gala») and of course for all those who would like to relive the unforgettable musical moments with Christiane Karg, the opportunity is offered to listen again to the voice of the exceptional German soprano and the Basel Chamber Orchestra (Riccardo Minasi, Conductor) on 5 November at 20.00 on Radio SRF2 Kultur. The concert recording from Klosters takes us back to the world of Symphony No. 35 in D major as well as the realm of the playful and emotional arias of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
SRF2 Kultur «Im Konzertsaal» («In the Concert Hall»)
Listen to it again: Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Beethoven milestones
Ludwig van Beethoven was represented on the memorable evening of the Opera Gala only by the dramatic scene «Ah! Perfido!», but the 150th birthday of the great composer of Viennese classical music was celebrated all the more festively on 7 August («Reason and Revolution»): Under the direction of Pablo Heras-Casado (pictured), guests were able to enjoy the Overture from «The Creatures of Prometheus», Opus 43, Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, «Eroica» Opus 61 and the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Opus 55. Both the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Veronika Eberle (violin) were able to present to the audience a worthy tribute to the composer, who died in 1827.
Klosters Music 2021 takes you on a fascinating journey into the musical world of emerging romanticism in Germany, Austria and today’s Czechia. It is a special honour for us to welcome Sir András Schiff to Klosters again next year. On Sunday, August 8 2021, we will risk a small detour to the far south with «Cinema Paradiso», a classic film on the big screen with live orchestral accompaniment.
The detailed programme will be announced in December 2020. Allow «your musical homeland» of Klosters to surprise you for the third time!
The music can transport us further and further. Even in difficult times. As we know: music has a special power. But as we all know too: music needs strength. It needs not only the strength and tireless commitment of the participants, but also the strength and support of those who love and care for music.
We are looking forward to other great concerts as well as joint, touching musical moments in Klosters and pass on our thanks for your past and future commitment to Klosters Music.
The numerous possibilities to join the Patrons’ Association Art & Music, Klosters or to continue your involvement can be found here.
“Beethoven and the ‘Call of the Mountain’ in the majestic Alpine world provided the perfect setting to bring musicians and audiences together again. Outstanding performances by outstanding artists from around the world delighted the audience in Klosters. The week of great concerts reminded us how much live music enriches all our lives.”
David Whelton, Artistic Director
For ten days we honoured Beethoven’s 250th birthday with the performance of a selection of his most important works and can look back on an extremely successful performance.
We would like to thank the more than 3,000 visitors, the artists, the volunteers, the patrons, partners, foundations, the Canton of Graubünden, the Klosters Cultural Fund, the municipality of Klosters-Serneus, the Protestant Reformed parish of Klosters-Serneus and Destination Davos Klosters for their trust and great support for Klosters Music 2020.
Foundation Art & Music, Klosters
Reason and Revolution, Concert Hall Arena Klosters, 7 August 2020
Reaching for the Heavens, Concert Hall Arena Klosters, 8 August 2020
The Crowning Glory, Concert Hall Arena Klosters, 9 August 2020
The Classical Style, Concert Hall Arena Klosters, 3 August 2020
Sturm und Drang, Concert Hall Arena Klosters, 4 August 2020
The Early Romantics, Concert Hall Arena Klosters, 5 August 2020
Organ Recital, St Jacob’s Church, 6 August 2020
Welcome Reception Klosters Music 2020, Hotel Vereina, 31 July 2020
Opening Concert A Golden Age, Concert Hall Arena Klosters, 31 July 2020
Fascinating Rhythm, Concert Hall Arena Klosters, 1 August 2020
Opera Gala, Concert Hall Arena Klosters, 2 August 2020
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Klosters Music: On 2 August, you will perform a Mozart Opera Gala together with the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Riccardo Minasi at “Klosters Music 2020”. What was your first contact or your first personal encounter with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?
Christiane Karg: The first encounter was quite early. My father is a great opera fan and classical music was always there. As a little girl I sang all the parts of “The Magic Flute” in my children’s room. I found Pamina the most boring at the time.
When I was five I wanted to become a singer and I can still remember my first Salzburg Festival, which I was allowed to experience with my parents as a seven-year-old. On the programme: The Magic Flute. Fate was kind to me and I was later allowed to study at the Mozarteum. In the Mozart year 2006 I graduated with a Master’s degree and made my debut at the Salzburg Festival with Mozart.
Mozart is a constant companion.
KM: There are arias from various Mozart operas on the programme. Which Mozart opera or opera part are you currently working on?
CK: Very fresh is the part of Contessa di Almaviva (“Le nozze di Figaro”), with which I made my debut last year at the Hamburg State Opera under the direction of Riccardo Minasi. In January I also sang this part in the Felsenreitschule with Sir András Schiff at the Mozart Woche in Salzburg.
“Così fan tutte” is now at the top of my pile: I should have sung the part of Fiordiligi at the Bavarian State Opera in June. Now the production has been postponed to September.
KM: What was your most moving moment as an opera singer, what was your most curious?
CK: There were so many wonderful moments, I can’t name the one that was most moving. But one that changed and shaped my life a lot was a stage accident where I broke my knee during a performance.
KM: This is not the first time you share the stage with the Basel Chamber Orchestra. How did you come together with the orchestra?
CK: The first project was “Les Illuminations” by Benjamin Britten. I have fond memories of this project, which brought me back to my Bavarian home in Neumarkt.
KM: “Klosters Music” in 2020 is all about Ludwig van Beethoven. What do you associate with Beethoven?
CK: Above all, of course, the Ninth Symphony. The soprano solo is one of the works that I probably sang most often and that you never get tired of. Unfortunately, Beethoven wrote far too little for the vocal part. I never sang the part of Marzelline in “Fidelio” on stage and so, apart from songs and folk songs, the wonderful concert aria “Ah, perfido!” remains for me, which I love to perform.
KM: You are performing for the first time in the mountain village of Klosters in the Swiss Grisons. What does that mean for you?
CK: I am curious. There aren’t so many new cities and festivals where I haven’t been a guest yet. At the beginning of my career, cities like London, Paris, New York were incredibly exciting and thrilling.
In the meantime I am very happy to be able to perform far away from the big city. I am looking forward to the peace and quiet and nature and to a new, relaxed, excited audience.
KM: Which of your future engagements are you most looking forward to and why?
CK: I think that at the moment all artists are looking forward to performing again. My profession is my childhood dream and I have always loved it. The forced break made me realize this once again.
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Klosters Music: You will perform the opening concert of “Klosters Music 2020” on 31 July together with pianist Simon Lepper and the Vienna Piano Trio and sing Beethoven’s song cycle “An die ferne Geliebte”. What do you associate with this work cycle?
Benjamin Appl: During my studies in Munich I learned the cycle, which I was later allowed to work on with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. It was also the work I sang in my first concert outside Europe at the Ravinia Festival near Chicago. So Beethoven’s masterpiece is a piece that I’ve been carrying around with me for a long time and I’m always trying to shed new light on it. It is incredibly topical in my eyes, even if some images may seem a bit outdated: In my years as a young adult I often listened to “An die ferne Geliebte”, especially when I was travelling and yet longed for someone or when I was newly in love. This unspent, sometimes naive view in music and lyrics always gave me the drive to see things in a more romantic or positive light.
KM: “Klosters Music” in 2020 is all about Ludwig van Beethoven. What was your first contact with Beethoven or what does this composer mean to you?
BA: My first contact with Beethoven was probably the second movement from the “Pathétique” Sonata. I developed a great love for this music, so I listened to it often and repeatedly as a child to build Lego or Playmobil. Beethoven somehow manages to lift people into all kinds of spheres, whether into the idyll or into the darkest corners. In December 2018, I was allowed to sing Mahler songs in a stadium in Osaka in front of 17,000 people. In the second part of the concert, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was on the programme with 10,000 people in the choir. What I experienced there gave me goose bumps. Thousands of Japanese singers – all reciting from memory – gave the text “Alle Menschen werden Brüder” with their whole soul: a sign of togetherness, connected around the globe – that is Beethoven.
KM: You have been working with Simon Lepper for many years. Is there a special moment or a special memory of your concerts with Simon Lepper that you would like to share with us?
BA: With Simon I was able to experience many wonderful moments. He is not only an excellent musician and one of the leading song pianists, but also a special, interesting person with whom one also likes to spend time. This is incredibly important in a musical relationship between song accompanist and singer. There are many excellent pianists, but only a few can convey the trust that the singer on the podium needs. Especially the two concert tours to India with Simon were something very special: from the monkey who suddenly honoured us on stage, to very wonderful encounters with concert visitors who had never heard Western, classical music before.
KM: You are performing for the first time in the mountain village of Klosters in the Swiss Grisons. What do you expect?
BA: I love Switzerland and often toy with the idea of spending more time here. For me, the mountains are the place where I can best recharge my batteries. After having seen pictures of Klosters, I am especially looking forward to it. Such unique surroundings inspire making music immensely.
KM: Which of your future engagements are you most looking forward to and why?
BA: That is a good question, especially from the point of view of Covid-19. I would put it more like this: At the moment I am happy about every engagement that can be carried out. There are some courageous organizers – among them especially Klosters Music – who will organize concerts again under certain hygienic precautions. That is really balm for the soul. In the past months there have been a lot of offers of live streams and broadcasts, but all this does not replace the live concert, where musicians and audience experience and share something together – and that is what I am most looking forward to.
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With the crowning final concert of the violinist Christian Tetzlaff and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the ten-day festival “Klosters Music” ended on Sunday. Among the highlights were performances by Sir András Schiff, Kit Armstrong and Maurice Steger. More than 3000 guests visited the high-class classical concerts in Klosters.
Klosters Music took place this year for the first time under the roof of the newly founded foundation “Kunst & Musik, Klosters”. “The enthusiasm of the guests and musicians is great,” says artistic director David Whelton with satisfaction. “We were able to realise concerts of the highest quality and with very good visitor numbers,” says Whelton. “We have thus laid a reliable foundation for the further development of Klosters Music”.
Expectations fulfilled, promises kept
“World class meets mountain world” was the slogan of this year’s concerts. This promise could be fulfilled with high-standing performances by national and international orchestras, ensembles and artists. The highlight was the performance by Sir András Schiff, who performed the monumental solo recital “Das Wohltemperierten Kla-vier, Band 1” by Johann Sebastian Bach in the church of St. Jakob, which was filled to capacity. The concert of the Swiss recorder player Maurice Steger with his programme “Mr Handel’s Dinner” as well as the performance of the Janoska Ensemble with an enthralling homage to the Beatles also provided great enthusiasm.
Over 3000 guests attended the two dozen large and small concerts at five venues in Klosters. In addition to the main concerts, the various performances of various formations on the Bahnhofplatz Klosters and the jazz concert on Madrisa with the South African jazz band Virtual Jazz Reality, held for the first time, were very well attended.
Promoting the location with art and music
“The aim of our foundation is to enrich the destination of Klosters with top-quality art and music. We have succeeded in doing this in the last ten days,” says President Rolf Theiler. “Now the planning for next year begins. We would like to further develop our formats in depth and breadth”.
Next year’s event has already been decided: Klosters Music will take place from August 1 to August 9, 2020.
Who was Johann Sebastian Bach? On the occasion of our Bach Discovery Days, Dr. Christine Blanken talks about the great composer and his European role models.
Johann Sebastian Bach and his European role models
with Dr. Christine Blanken (Bach Archive Leipzig)
(Lecture with pictures and music examples)
Saturday, 3rd August 2019
Hotel Piz Buin, Klosters
In the intimate atmosphere typical of Klosters in the church of St. Jakob, listeners could enjoy Bach, Beethoven, Schumann and Adès.
Despite the nasty weather, over 300 listeners attended the Virtual Jazz Reality concert in the Alp Madrisa restaurant. The band from Cape Town played an inspiring concert and in the end even pulled the visitors from their chairs.
Virtuoso, entertaining and, as usual, at the highest level: Maurice Steger and the La Cetra Barockorchester Basel enthused in the church of St. Jakob.
The concert was recorded by Radio SRF 2 Kultur and will be broadcast on Monday, 26 August 2019 at 8 p.m. on “Weltklasse”.
The new format Shape & Sound met with great interest among the audience and was extended by an introduction to the works of Kurt Oskar Weber at the Atelier Bolt.
The first concert of this year’s series was given by the Modigliani Quartet from Paris and the pianist Adam Laloum, who also lives in France, with works by Schumann, Schubert and Beethoven. The enthusiastic audience owed the outstanding concert with standing ovations.
Klosters Music was ceremoniously opened on Friday evening. 60 invited guests listened to the opening sounds of the Kinderjodelchörli Silvrettastärnli under the direction of Dominique Bolt – followed by greetings from President Rolf Theiler and Vice President Heinz Brand.
The first concert of this year’s series was given by the Modigliani Quartet from Paris and the pianist Adam Laloum, who also lives in France, with works by Schumann, Schubert and Beethoven. The enthusiastic audience owed the outstanding concert with standing ovations.
On behalf of the municipality of Klosters-Serneus, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you!
In 2019, Klosters Music will once again host world-renowned artists who will be performing here in what promises to be a first-class cultural summer programme.
The intimate setting of the Klosters Music concert venues creates a unique experience and a platform for many spontaneous and inspiring meetings between residents, second-home owners and visitors from near and far.
Come and join us and enjoy a varied program of concerts and exceptional talent of the highest level.
On behalf of the community authorities of Klosters-Serneus, I thank all involved including all volunteers for the realization of this unique event and wish all visitors the enjoyment of fond memorable moments.
The weekend programmes Part 1 and Part 2 give a comprehensive insight into the performing artists and the played works. The supporting programme around Klosters Music is also very clearly visible.
You can download the brochures here or obtain them free of charge on site in Klosters.
Detailed Programme First Weekend 26-28 July 2019 (PDF)
Formed in 1993, Virtual Jazz Reality rates as one of the most versatile and experienced bands on the South African music scene. Their jazz repertoire in all styles ranges from light jazz to their own innovative original compositions. They have collaborated with numerous international artists such as Pavarotti, Jonathan Butler, Shirley Bassey, Liberace, Bono, Anastacia, Shakatak and many more.
As well as their live appearances, the band members teach on various workshops in schools in South Africa and for many years ran the “Artscape Youth Mentoring Programme”.
- Concert Ticket & Mountain Railway Ticket CHF 38
- Click here to buy tickets
Under the title “Shape & Sound”, two artistic practices, that are harmoniously interconnected, consolidate in the setting of a matinee.
In an illustrative lecture recital, Swiss sculptor and artist Christian Bolt as well as Austrian composer Wolfgang-Michael Bauer will showcase the affiliation between sculpture, painting and music. Visitors also benefit from an introduction to the legacy of Swiss sculptor Kurt Oskar Weber, with an extensive exhibition of his work dedicated to him in the exhibition rooms.
Both artists give a fascinating insight into their creative process. An audience participation question/answer will put more light on the fascinating worlds of these two diversified artists. All the musical compositions of Wolfgang-Michael will debut in Switzerland. This proves to be a memorable experience.
Opening and introduction to Kurt Oskar Weber exhibition by Andrin Schütz
Saturday, 27 July 2019
Atelier Bolt, Klosters
CHF 180 incl. Apéro riche
Music: Antonia Rössler (Violine), Othmar Müller (Violoncello) and Alexander Rössler (Klavier)
Moderation: Andrin Schütz
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