29.01.2021

Tallinn sets up a cadidacy for the UNESCO City of Music

Tallinn is aspiring to become the City of Music of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network this year. Currently, 47 cities from all over the world belong to the network of Music Cities, 19 of them from Europe.

According to Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, Tallinn is the largest center of music culture in Estonia, where song and dance festivals as well as major international festivals and concerts take place. "Our history and traditions, even the song festival and the Song Festival Grounds alone are enough motivation to run for the City of Music," Kõlvart noted. "But in addition, our creative and learning environments and concert venues promote diverse music activities, such as making music, participation in music culture and creating music. Music is important for Tallinn, in cultural, educational, social and economic terms. Therefore, as the capital of the singing nation, we want to introduce the music culture of our city and people even more to the world and thereby contribute to the revival of Tallinn's cultural life and music sector.”

The Mayor also referred to a recent satisfaction survey of the people of Tallinn, which revealed that Tallinn is a city with a creative atmosphere. "According to the survey, city dwellers also wanted more music events - concerts and festivals - in their cultural life. I believe that as a city of music, we can offer all this not only to the people of Tallinn, but also to all Estonian people and guests,” said Kõlvart.

According to Tõnu Kaljuste, the artistic director of the Tallinn Philharmonic, the city's candidacy for the UNESCO City of Music is a very pleasant initiative, because any international cooperation and attention means respect and appreciation for musicians. "It's a recognition that music born in our city speaks to an international audience, and our diverse and historically rich music story is worth telling. Any title is an advance, but a pleasant advance. This would help the friendship between the city and music to become an eternal marriage," said Kaljuste. "Most of the great things in this city have been born with music. There are few cities in the world where music would have played such a big role in revolutionary times. And where else can you see the "Song River" as 50,000 people move towards the Song Festival Grounds during the Song Festival and where the banks of this river are made of tens of thousands of music lovers."

According to the mapping of the Tallinn music field conducted by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research, the Tallinn music sector makes up about 75-80% of the entire Estonian music sector. In 2020, according to the above-mentioned mapping, 1,688 music institutions, organizations and companies operated in Tallinn, employing 2,073 people. The mapping of the music field can be found in the Tallinn research database.

Applying for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network takes place every two years, most recently in 2017 and 2019. If the schedule is not changed due to the Corona-virus, it will become clear in late autumn this year whether Tallinn has turned out to be a city of music or not.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was launched in 2004 with the aim of highlighting the role of culture and creativity in the sustainable development of cities. Today, the network includes 246 cities around the world. In recent years, interest in the network has been very high - in 2017, 64 cities became members of the network, in 2019, 66 cities. There are seven categories in the network: Cities of Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music. One city of each country can belong to only every category. From Estonia, two cities already belong to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network: Tarty  as a City of Literature and Viljandi as a City of Crafts and Folk Art.

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