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Atelier Bolt, © Corinne Gut Klucker

“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