They gathered earlier this week to present the line-up for the sixtieth Pollensa Festival, and they included Mayor Cifre, the president of the Council of Majorca, Catalina Cladera, and one-time deputy mayor of Alcudia, Pere Malondra, who is now the manager of the Balearic Symphony Orchestra; the orchestra will be performing on August 7.
Tomeu Cifre said that the “festival has immense tradition and is focused on artistic, cultural and tourist recovery through a very ambitious programme that maintains the spirit of the festival”. Catalina Cladera observed that “having a cultural event of this level and excellence helps us to put Pollensa and Mallorca back on the international music scene”.
All is now relative peace and harmony where the festival is concerned, a far cry from the situation eight years ago when the then director, Joan Valent, was complaining of being treated as though he were a thief when a town hall report suggested that there were “anomalies” in the accounts for the previous year. Composer Valent, it may be recalled, pretty much held the event together, such was the lack of support at a time of financial crisis. His treatment was shoddy to say the least.
The first festival was held in September 1962. Its origins lay with annual concerts staged at the Club Pollença, a driving force behind those concerts having been the Pollensa poet and chronicler, Miquel Bota Totxo. He was also instrumental in getting the festival off the ground, as was the mayor, Tomeu Siquier, and also Philip Newman. The British violinist is attributed with having been the festival’s founder. An adopted son of Pollensa, he was a violinist of renown, but more so in Mallorca, Portugal and Belgium than he was in Britain.