Origen / Music Festival - Richie Hawtin. | Youtube: Andrés de Castro

Electronica event at Son Amar

Richie Hawtin has performed in Mallorca before, notably as the headlining act for one of the Origen Fest dates at Palma’s Son Fusteret showground in August 2019.

Born in Banbury, his family moved to Ontario when he was nine. It was when the family moved again - to Detroit - that he started what has been a highly acclaimed career as a DJ and producer. He has won the Best Techno DJ Award three times; the DJ Awards, held in Ibiza, are the ultimate accolade for electronic music and he has been nominated on numerous other occasions. Innovative in different ways, including technology development, he has released thirty albums or compilations since 1993 and is perhaps best known under his Plastikman alias. He returns to Majorca for the latest electronica event at Son Amar.

Saturday, from 4pm, Son Amar, Ctra. Palma-Soller, Palmanyola.

Festival of the Standard

The Festival of the Standard is one of the oldest civil celebrations in Europe. It has been suggested that is in fact the oldest. There’s no doubting that it has been in existence for an awfully long time, marking as it does the taking of Madina Mayurqa (Palma) by Jaume I of Aragon, the Conqueror, on New Year’s Eve 1229.

Given its antiquity, the festival has undergone changes down the centuries. It suffered a decline as a result of developments after the War of the Spanish Succession had ended. Felipe V invoked his “right of conquest” in presenting the Nueva Planta decree of November 1715 that eliminated the Kingdom of Mallorca. By the middle of the following century, forgotten traditions of how the festival had once been prompted Pere d’Alcantara Penya’s poem ‘Sa Colcada’, the cavalcade of old.

The poem (at midday in the Plaça Cort) is one of the highlights of the celebration.

Friday, from 10am, Plaça Cort and the Cathedral, Palma.

New Year’s Eve concerts

New Year’s Eve is not only the Festival of the Standard, it is also Mallorca Day and has been since 2017. It used to be 12 September, but 31 December, because of the conquest, was felt to be more representative. Political disagreements about the change - the former date marked the coronation of Jaume II in 1276 - continue to rumble on.

The Council of Mallorca, instigators of the change, stage various events to mark the occasion. Among these are two concerts away from Palma. Folktronic is a group led by Mallorcan singer Desirée Durán, who was highlighted a couple of weeks ago, while Dragonera Tango are a four-piece who specialise in - you might guess - Argentine tango as well as other Latin American music. Their repertoire includes pieces from Astor Piazzolla, and they are Alfredo Ardanaz (violin), Néstor Zarzoso (piano), Pablo Martín di Salvo (double bass) and Gaspar Müller (bandoneon).

Thursday, 7.30pm, Folktronic - Sant Joan Baptista Church, Estellencs; 8pm, Dragonera Tango - Casa des Poble, Esporles.

New Year concert

A New Year concert by the Balearic Symphony Orchestra is another tradition in Mallorca. For this New Year, there is a programme dedicated almost solely to Johann Strauss the Son (Johann Strauss II). So, there are a number of polkas and waltzes, added to which will be two works from other members of the Strauss dynasty - Johann II’s brothers Eduard and Josef. Respectively, their ‘Electrisch, Polka schnell’ and ‘Sympathie’ are included in the programme.

The only work not by a Strauss will be the overture from Otto Nicolai’s ‘Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor’, ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’.

Saturday, 8pm, Palacio de Congresos, Palma; Sunday, 6.30pm, Manacor Auditorium, Passeig Ferrocarril, Manacor.

Ensemble Tramuntana

American violinist Barry Sargent was the driving force behind the founding of the Ensemble Tramuntana in 2014. As he has explained, this was at a time when Majorca was still suffering the effects of the financial crisis. There were many young musicians struggling to get work.

Some years later, and the ensemble is still going strong. In fact, it has gone from strength to strength, having become an established presence on the island’s musical scene and having also performed away from Mallorca.

The Tramuntana Mountains, as the name implies, have been a source of inspiration, and it is in the Tramuntana heartland where they will be performing an end-of-year concert, followed by one in Palma. A chamber formation of violins, viola, cello and double bass will perform works by Boccherini, Dvorak and Schubert.

Wednesday, 8pm, Capella Escolàpies, C. Batac 25, Soller; Thursday, 8pm, Sant Felip Neri Church, C. Sant Felip Neri, Palma.

Russian ballet on stage

Performances by the Ballet de Moscú, Moscow Ballet RFB, are something of a New Year tradition in Mallorca. And so this New Year will be no different.

Founded by Bolshoi Ballet Academy graduate Timur Fayziev in 1989, the company usually performs a Tchaikovsky ballet - Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake or The Nutcracker - at the auditorium in Palma. It will be doing so again (The Nutcracker in Palma), but in a break from tradition and to mark the recent reopening, the company will also be performing in Inca at the Teatre Principal, where it will be Swan Lake.

Monday, 8pm, Teatre Principal, C. Teatre, Inca (and Tuesday, January 4 at Palma Auditorium).