Glasgow Earns Title of UNESCO City of Music

As part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, Glasgow has been named as a UNESCO City of Music in recognition of its musical history as well as the significant role the city plays in promoting music in modern times. With an average of 120 music events, covering an extensive range of genres, being staged in Glasgow every week, the city is certainly deserving of the title. Glasgow is the second city in Scotland to be given a UNESCO Creative Cities Network honor, with Edinburgh designated as a UNESCO City of Literature.

The public announcement of the prestigious title was made by the director-general of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, at a ceremony in Glasgow, which was hosted by Councilor Robert Winter, the Lord Provost of Glasgow. Dignitaries who were present at the ceremony included Scotland’s Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, Linda Fabiani, and Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale, who served as chairperson on Glasgow’s steering committee that put forward the bid for the title.

The goal behind the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which was established at the end of 2004, is to promote economic, social and cultural development. Glasgow, along with the other members of the global network, will use this platform to share their experience, promote their local creative and cultural scene and create opportunities for cultural and music interaction on a global scale. In his speech Mr. Matsuura stated that UNESCO believes that, in addition to making an economic contribution, the promotion of culture results in a sense of identity and continuity within communities. Furthermore, it is believed that a clear understanding of culture that has shaped a community helps in preserving its values and practices, while promoting respect for other cultural traditions in a manner which builds social harmony and includes people of all ages and origins.

The bid for the title was based on a number of salient points including Glasgow’s local, national and international significance as a center for music; the excellence of the city’s musicians; and the commitment of the city to promoting music for entertainment as well as a tool to be used in social regeneration. It is estimated that music contributes £75 million per year to Glasgow’s economy.

In addition to the regular music events that continue throughout the year, a number of high-profile annual music events are hosted by the city of Glasgow, including the popular Celtic Connections, Triptych, the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Piping Alive! and the World Pipe Band Championships. If you have plans to visit this vibrant Scottish city, be sure to enjoy some music events and discover first hand why Glasgow has been chosen as a UNESCO City of Music.