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Introduction

The Festival de Pollença was established in 1962 at the initiative of the distinguished English violinist Philip Newman and has kept going until today under the artistic direction of major figures: the violinists Philip Newman and Eugen Prokop, the baritone Joan Pons and the composer Joan Valent. From 2016 on, an artistic committee has been responsible for the management of the Festival through its members.

Throughout this trajectory of fifty-seven continuous years cementing its international prestige, it has become one of the unmissable events of the summer period, both for residents and those who visit us and wish to enjoy Music in all of its varied forms and expressions.

Almost eight hundred first-class artists form the history of this event, with nationalities and styles as diverse as the USSR. Radio Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of France, the Pittsburgh Symphony, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Mtislav Rostropóvich, Lorin Maazel, Mischa Maisky, Ara Malikian, Maria Joao Pires, Monserrat Caballé, Ainhoa Arteta, José Mercé, Ravi Shankar, Goran Bregovic, Roger Hodson, Michael Nyman, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Nelson Freire... and a complete series of highly significant names.

Traditionally, it has been held during summer nights, in the incomparable setting of the old cloister of Santo Domingo convent, with an exquisite and demanding program that aims to bring classical music to the public via its different artistic strands.

Committee

The technical committee for artistic evaluation is made up of distinguished people from the world of music and management. It provides a qualified and professional leadership through which the committee members intend to standardise the criteria, diversify the points of view and make music relevant in the context of one of the most important festivals of our country’s musical panorama.

Noemí Dalmau

A soloist and concert pianist. Director and founder of the Vila de Capdepera International Piano Competition, President of the Art in Music Cultural Association and President of the Serenates d'Estiu Festival in Cala Rajada. She is a dynamic artist whose activity is underpinned by its interrelationship with other associations and foundations in Europe and throughout the world, prioritizing cultural exchanges. She is a teacher at the Professional Conservatory of Majorca.

Marta Bauzà Soler

She is a member of the Opéra Studio of the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg and has formed part of the Stuttgart Opera choir. Her musical career has led her to sing as a soloist at different theatres in Spain and Germany.

Toni Aragón Saugar

A singing teacher at the Professional Conservatory of Majorca, he combines his teaching work with concert activity ranging from opera stagings to oratorios, ancient music and piano recitals. He is involved in the music seasons at the Main Theatre in Palma and with groups such as La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Camerata Iberia, Capella de Ministrers, Estil Concertant and Ensemble Elyma. He is also a member of Studium Aureum.

Joan Campomar Cerdà

He is a teacher at the Professional Conservatory of Majorca. As a musician and percussion teacher he is involved and works with the most important musical institutions on the island, including the Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands and the Studium Aureum Foundation. Over the past twenty years he has organized events related to the popularization of percussion, including courses, forums and festivals, displaying particular interest in ensuring the cultural and musical activity of Pollença remains alive and well.

Carles Ponseti Verdaguer

He conducts his artistic activity in the world of musical direction and production. The founder of the Studium group and Studium Aureum, he has organized and promoted a large number of concerts, musical and theatre stagings and operas. He is a teacher at the Professional Conservatory of Majorca.

The cloister

The Dominicans built this stunning convent between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the cloister of which each year hosts one of the world's largest classical music festivals.

This convent was built by Dominican Friars (1) between 1558 and 1616 in order to bolster their presence in Pollença, having initially settled in the Oratori del Roser Vell. The Dominicans occupied the church and the convent until 1833, when the site was disentailed (2), and a few years later the Spanish government ceded it to Pollença Town Council. Since then it has had many uses, including as a hospice, Guardia Civil barracks, a school, a library and a museum.

The church of the convent has a basilica floor plan (3) and ten side chapels, each adorned with a period altarpiece. The most striking example is the one at the head of the church, which was created between 1651 and 1662 by Mallorcan sculptor Joan Antoni Oms and is dedicated to the Verge del Rosari, patron saint of the Dominicans. The painting dates back to the fifteenth century and comes from the Oratori del Roser Vell.

Next to the church is the pièce de résistance of this building: a Baroque-style (4) cloister which was completed in 1616. Well known for the beauty of its four arched corridors, it has also been the venue for the Pollença Classical Music Festival since 1962. The best orchestras, choirs and opera singers of the world participate in this annual event, which takes place during the summer, enjoying not only the beautiful scenery but also the excellent acoustics provided by this cloister.

(1) Dominican Friars: The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, is a Catholic religious order founded by Spanish priest Domingo de Guzmán in 1216. Its members, the Dominican Friars, advocate a life of preaching peace to the people, having taken vows of poverty, austerity, chastity and obedience. Famed Dominicans from throughout history include Thomas Aquinas, Vicente Ferrer and Bartolomé de las Casas.

(2) Disentailment: Throughout the nineteenth century, Spanish liberal governments carried out a process of expropriating, nationalising and privatising many of the properties that the Catholic Church had amassed across the country. The aim of this was to boost public coffers, which were suffering heavily due to wars and the loss of colonies.

(3) Basilica floor plan: A type of architectural floor plan that dates back to Roman public buildings. It consists of a main nave separated from other lower naves by rows of columns, allowing churchgoers to focus on the chevet of the church, which is usually an apse where the high altar is found.

(4) Baroque-style: A term identified with a cultural movement and artistic style dating approximately from the seventeenth to mid-eighteenth century, characterised by excessive ornamentation. In fact, the concept was coined by its critics using the French word 'baroque', one translation of which is 'extravagant', referring to what they considered was an excess on the part of certain artists.

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