10 March was International Bagpipe Day. The Fourth International Bagpipe Conference was a huge success with participants from over a dozen countries gathered to play, share and present their knowledge. Hosted in Mallorca at the Arxiu del Regne de Mallorca, along with an opening concert at the Teatre Xesc Forteza and an outing in the town of Sóller, the conference really achieved its goal of creating a platform for people interested in bagpipes, encouraging links with people from all around the world. The next conference will be taking place in 2020 on the East Coast of the United States.
Following up from the conference, I was invited by the Balearic Islands Government and the Centre Balears Europa in Brussels to introduce two new instruments to the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels as well as do a short presentation of music from the Balearic Islands to an international audience, punctuated by music from Mallorcan, Menorcana and Ibizan musicians. What a fantastic day it was!
Music is still happening, though, with a concert with Amaraterra at Balabam on Saturday 24 March and a feature during a Baroque Festival in April in Hampstead Heath, playing a Vivaldi Concerto Grosso for the first time in years. Exciting!