Alfredo Oyágüez, internationally renowned pianist, composer, conductor and director of the Festival Internacional de Música de Deià. | Humphrey Carter


World-renowned pianist, composer and conductor Alfredo Oyágüez is extremely excited about this year’s 46th Festival Internacional de Música de Deià (International Deya Music Festival), and as director of the event he is off to promote the festival and Mallorca in Singapore and Japan before the festival opens on June 26. This year’s festival, which runs until October 2, not only features leading classical musicians and artists from Italy, China, France, Iceland, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, it also provides a large platform for local Balearic musicians and will be spreading out across the island at a number of new, exciting and spectacular locations.

Founded in 1978 by Patrick Meadows, the Deià International Music Festival ranks amongst the most important classical music festivals in Europe, a fact that contributes to the town of Deya and the island of Mallorca being known all over the world.

61 concerts across the island
Since its very first edition, the collaboration of international artists and the undeniable quality of its music programmes, combining tradition with the most up-to-date, modern trends, have been the hallmark of the festival, and Alfredo has been working hard to maintain the spirit of the festival while branching out from Deya.

This year’s 61 concerts will be held at Son Marroig (Deya), which is the main setting for the festival; Sineu; Sa Bassa Rotja (Porreres); Palau March (Palma); Hotel Belmond La Residencia; the Robert Graves Foundation and House; the Tianna Negre vineyard in Binissalem; the Santa Catalina vineyard in Sencelles; the Miro Foundation in Palma; and Can Prunera Museum in Soller. And one very special addition this year is that as well as private parking for festival goers at Son Marroig, there will be private access in order to avoid all the traffic at the famous viewpoint.

Workshops and master classes
Apart from the concerts, for which the maximum ticket prices are 30 euros, there will also be a series of workshops and master classes which are open to the public. This year the festival features an International Piano Forum, an International Piano Summit and a host of other gatherings, meetings and events which have yet to be confirmed because, as Alfredo explained: “Once the musicians are here and they get into the spirit of the festival, they become more spontaneous and come up with all kinds of ideas of how to engage with the pubic and the island.” “Mallorca is a magnet. As soon as we offer the opportunity of coming and performing in Mallorca and at some of the most spectacular locations, they literally jump at the chance. And many make the most of coming to the festival to spend some extra time on the island and enjoy a holiday.

International promotions
“As I mentioned, I am off to perform in Singapore and Japan before the festival opens and we use these concerts as a way of promoting both the festival and Mallorca. I have already performed in other countries as an ambassador, if you like, for the event and the island and we always invite the relevant ambassadors, authorities and members of the tourist industries so they not only get a feeling for the festival but also Mallorca.

“Yes, the audience is very much international, be they island residents or people who plan their holidays in Mallorca around the festival and certain concerts. And we do have a growing audience from Asia and the Far East apart from Europe, the United States and South America, which is very exciting, not only for us a a festival but also local Balearic musicians who get a chance to meet and engage with international performers and lovers of classical music. That said, the festival has always embraced quality modern music and this year we have the INTERTANGO ensemble from Argentina performing and the legendary Italian musician, singer and producer Gino Castelli will be hosting an evening of Italian modern classical songs, plus there will be performances of jazz, blues and funk.

A fusion of classical cultures
“The festival is a fusion of classical cultures and the concerts are very intimate. Maximum capacity is around 150. This enables the audience to feel the experience and to also get to meet the musicians and performers, feel part of the festival. And that experience is very important to us,” said Alfredo, who already has his eye on the 50th anniversary festival.

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