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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.