The Formentor Sunset Classics Festival, the most important classical music event in Mallorca
Envision Formentor Bay as the sun is setting. You are on the northern tip of Mallorca, surrounded by dense pine tree forests and the turquoise water of the Mediterranean as orange hues shimmer under the last rays of light. The setting is so idyllic that the only thing missing is some music to create a magical moment. This is exactly what takes place every year at the Formentor Sunset Classics Festival, organised by the exclusive Formentor, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, owned by the Barceló Group in one of the most stunning spots along the Mediterranean.
This event has been supported by Simón Pedro Barceló, a classical music enthusiast, since its first edition in 2013, earning worldwide acclaim in this genre. In this groundbreaking cultural experience, the emotion of the music being performed by renowned international figures is intertwined with the beauty of this natural habitat.
This initiative is an extension of the hotel’s long cultural tradition dating back to its early days, 90 years ago, when it was the cultural epicentre of the Mediterranean and welcomed great individuals from the world of literature, film and global politics.
Formentor Sunset Classics Festival, magical evenings in Mallorca
In the previous six editions, the stage at Formentor Sunset Classics has welcomed acclaimed artists such as Gustavo Dudamel, Lang Lang, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Anna Netrebko, Ainhoa Arteta, Kiri Te Kanawa, Olga Peretyatko, Hilary Hahn and Leticia Moreno.
The seventh edition, headlined by the pianist Maria João Pires and the orchestra conductor Gustavo Dudamel, has been preceded by prestigious praise from the British newspaper The Times, which described the festival as ‘a unique musical experience at one of the best hotels in the Mediterranean’. Influential lifestyle magazines in Spain, such as Gentleman and Fuera de Serie, have also praised and recommended the festival, with the latter calling it ‘an unforgettable experience by the sea.’ This is a one-of-a-kind event and an experience that everyone should try at some point.
Maestro Dinners: a meeting with Lang Lang and other musical geniuses
Formentor Sunset Classics evenings continue after the last note is played. The festival proposes a sensory experience that goes beyond the music, and once the ears and eyes have been pampered, our sense of taste is next. There is nothing better than attending the gala dinners at Formentor, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, after every concert, and sharing a table with the artists who have just performed, for a chance to meet these great musicians and spend some time with them.
Expand your knowledge at the musical appreciation workshops
To help guests enjoy the festival on another level, the Artistic Director of Formentor Sunset Classics, Felipe Aguirre, arranges musical appreciation workshops that are open to everyone, inviting participants to become completely immersed in the music by providing tools that enable them to understand the experience on a deeper level. As explained by this Colombian musician, one of the top orchestra conductors in Latin America today, these masterclasses ‘strive to educate participants through an introductory workshop that explains the style, the pieces that will be performed, the composers and how everything fits into that era’.
Formentor Sunset Classics crosses borders
Every year, the festival begins in May and lasts for several months, with a series of concerts that up until recently only took place in Formentor. However, in the last two editions, Formentor Sunset Classics has travelled outside of Mallorca and made its way to the capital of Spain, teaming up with the Teatro Real in Madrid, the country’s most prestigious cultural institution, giving the festival a new dimension. Since then, the stage of this historic theatre has been one of the season’s biggest highlights.
The Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, recipient of the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, opened this tradition on 13 January 2018, with a concert in which he conducted the legendary Vienna Philharmonic. In 2019, this honour went to the famous pianist Lang Lang, who added the finishing touch to the sixth edition with a concert alongside the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, featuring classics by Beethoven.
Just as in the case of other Formentor concerts, audience members had the chance to attend an exclusive dinner afterwards at the Barceló Torre de Madrid hotel, located at Plaza de España.
Barceló Group Scholarship: supporting young artists since 2014
The Mallorca-based hotel group is committed to culture as a future investment, which is why it supports up-and-coming musicians by giving them the chance to participate in the festival’s Chamber Series or by awarding a scholarship to a student at the Reina Sofía School of Music. The Barceló Group Scholarship is granted based on the expert advice of the Albéniz Foundation, which has been promoting classical music in Spain since 1972. This successful initiative has already helped shape musicians such as Ramón Mendoza, an excellent Spanish violinist under the age of 30 who has received a number of national and international awards.
Formentor Sunset Classics has become a sustainable cultural project and an idea that defines an unprecedented milestone in the hotel industry. Classical music enthusiasts have an annual date with this festival held at a unique hotel that has been named Spain’s Leading Boutique Hotel by the World Travel Awards and the Best Beach Hotel in Spain.
Information of interest
- By car: Carretera Palma to Puerto Pollença / Ma-2200 and Ma-2210.