Kammerochester Basel, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Giovanni Antonini, Nikola Hillebrand, Maximilian Schmitt, Florian Boesch, © Marcel Giger

Record attendance and standing ovations

The fifth edition of Klosters Music (“Longing for nature. Musical Landscapes”) came to an end with an impressive two-and-a-half-hour piano recital by Sir András Schiff. In his previously unannounced programme, the pianist on his own Bösendorfer grand piano spanned an arc from the Baroque (including Johann Sebastian Bach’s Capriccio in B flat major BWV 992) to the Viennese Classical period with works by Joseph Haydn (Variations in F minor, Sonata in E flat major Hob. XVI: 52), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (C minor Fantasy KV 475) and Ludwig van Beethoven (Bagatelles op. 126, “Waldstein” Sonata op. 53) to Franz Schubert, whom he paid homage to with the Hungarian Melody in B minor D 817, played as an encore. The approximately 4,000 listeners were completely enthralled by the festival programme with nine concerts and an author’s reading. 

Around 800 more tickets were sold in 2023 compared to the previous year. This corresponds to an increase in attendance of more than 20%. In addition to the first-ever family concert in the Old Schoolhouse and the author reading by Thomas Hürlimann in the Atelier Bolt, two concerts each entertaining around 600 listeners in the Arena Klosters concert hall, were sold out: Joseph Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation” with the Bavarian Radio Choir and the Basel Chamber Orchestra conducted by Giovanni Antonini and the concert by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with works by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. “Each of the nine concerts had its extraordinary moments,” says David Whelton, the festival’s artistic director. “The performance of ‘The Creation’ in Giovanni Antonini’s exceptionally vivid interpretation was for me personally the artistic highlight to date in the festival’s five-year history.”

The second half of the festival was opened by Immanuel Richter (trumpet) and Rudolf Lutz (organ) with festive, splendid sounds in St. Jacob’s Church. Like last year, Lutz led the programme in an entertaining manner and congratulated the festival on its 5th birthday with a musical improvisation of “Happy Birthday”.  Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” uniquely reflected the motto “Longing for Nature. Musical Landscapes”. Arabella Steinbacher and the Kammerakademie Potsdam impressively demonstrated how original this frequently performed work can appear: from violent summer storms with noisy bowing and frantic runs to tender autumn idylls. The concert recording will be broadcast on Radio SRF 2 on 14 August 2023 at 8 pm. The Stradivarius Trio with Veronika Eberle (violin), Antoine Tamestit (viola) and Sol Gabetta (cello) presented the Trio in G major op. 9 No. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven as well as lesser-known works by Ernst von Dohnányi and György Kurtág to the Klosters audience. With their Stradivari instruments they achieved the highest homogeneity of sound. Their perfect interplay delighted the audience. There were also standing ovations after the brilliant performance of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under its 23-year-old Finnish conductor Tarmo Peltokoski. Sharon Kam developed a broad palette of colours on the basset clarinet in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Beethoven’s 6th Symphony “Pastorale” made the grandly performing orchestra a real musical natural experience.

Heinz Brand, president of the organising Klosters Art & Music Foundation, is of the opinion that the festival in its fifth year has finally reached the level of the established concert venues. The huge increase in ticket sales has a lot to do with the high quality of the concerts. Klosters Music has become an indispensable highlight of the Klosters tourism programme and the Graubünden summer of culture. “We can clearly feel that there has been an increased influence in politics.” In addition to former Federal Councillor Hans-Rudolf Merz and the Director of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) Helene Budliger Artieda, Klosters Music also hosted Council of States member Stefan Engler as well as National Council President Martin Candinas and Dr. Urs Loher, Swiss Army Armaments Director. Managing Director Franziska von Arb is pleased that the first family concert with the “Carnival of the Animals” was so well received: “We want to create experiences with music. The children and their parents, most of whom were visiting the festival for the first time, were completely thrilled.” Klosters Music will continue to present an exciting mix of orchestral concerts, chamber music and special formats in 2024.

Impressionen Klosters Music 2023