The Festival of Pollença was founded in 1962 thanks to the initiative of the distinguished English violinist Philip Newman and has kept going until today under the artistic direction of several significant figures: violinists Philip Newman and Eugen Prokop, baritone Joan Pons and composer Joan Valent. Since 2016, the Festival has been overseen by an artistic committee, and from 2020, it will be managed with the assistance of a leading advisor, who will help with matters relating to the Festival’s programming and general management.
Over the last sixty years, the Festival’s international prestige has been cemented, quickly becoming one of the most unmissable events of the summer, both for locals and visitors who wish to enjoy music in a wide variety of forms and expressions.
More than eight hundred first-class artists have contributed to the history of this event, with a spectrum of nationalities and styles, including 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, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, to name just a few of the pre-eminent names to have performed at the festival.
The Festival, as a living organism, has been developed to this day seeking to offer the public an image of constant improvement and adapting to the times. Initially with a more “classical” conception of the repertoire and chamber music until it accommodated different artistic manifestations from other areas of interest, opening the door to experimentation and the search for other ways of approaching other types of music.
All this as a sign of the festival’s objective of broadening its horizons without losing sight of the fact that the wide range offered is of extraordinary quality and artistic excellence. In this way, the Festival has been offering a magnificent cultural oasis for six decades, not only to the “pollencins” and residents who decided to establish their residence in the municipality, but also to visitors who decide to bet on Pollença as a tourist destination. quality.
Traditionally, it has been held during summer nights, in the incomparable setting of the old cloister of Sant Domingo convent, with an exquisite and demanding program that aims to bring the different artistic strands of classical music to the public.
The Festival team
The Festival is managed by the local technical service team, as appointed by the town’s mayor. From this year 2019 , the Festival is proud to announce its collaboration with Pere Bonet i Bonet, as our leading advisor. His labour, as an expert technician, is assisting with the general management and programming of the Festival and in artistic, organisational and logistical aspects.
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 Old Oratory of the Rosary. The Dominicans occupied the church and the convent until 1833, when the site was taken by the government at the time (2), and a few years later the Spanish government ceded it to the Pollença Town Council. Since then it has had many uses, including as a hospice, Civil Guard 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 an altarpiece from the period of its construction. The most striking example is the one at the head of the church, which was made between 1651 and 1662 by Majorcan sculptor Joan Antoni Oms and is dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, patron saint of the Dominicans. The painting dates back to the fifteenth century and comes from the Old Oratory of the Rosary.
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 Sir Thomas Aquinas, Vicente Ferrer and Bartolomé de las Casas.
(2) State Expropriation: 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.
Organizers and sponsors
with the collaboration of
Festival de Pollença’s Office
Convent de Sant Domingo
C/. de Pere J. Cànaves Salas, s/n
T.(+34) 971 534 011 / 674 935 302
Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.
Thursday from 4.30 p,m, to 7.00 p.m.
To book and buy tickets on the day of the concert, from 8.30 pm to 10.00 pm