South Korea

UNESCO City of Music

since 2017

Daegu is located in the southeastern region of South Korea and has a population of 2.5 million. It serves as an artistic and cultural city for the region, holding modern and contemporary cultures of Korea.

Korea’s first classical music hall, Nokhayng, opened in Daegu in 1946. Described in a foreign news report from the era as “a city where one can hear Bach even amidst war-torn rubble”, Ever since then Daegu has been recognized as a music-loving city.

Centering on its music, Daegu is highly competitive in musical and opera performances converging arts, literature, and design, and organized a number of international music events in gukak (traditional Korean music), classical music and contemporary music.

The Daegu International Opera Festival (DIOF) held since 2003 is the largest of its scale in Asia with its focus on newly created operas. Until now, it has carried out close networking activities, such as joint opera productions and exchange performances, with 24 opera theatres and groups from the homes of opera such as Bologna, Italy and Seville, Spain.

The Daegu International Musical Festival (DIMF) is the only Asian musical festival. Held in June every year since 2007, it has attracted 1.4 million attendees to 219 musicals over the past 10 years. It is recognized as an art market for Korean and foreign musicals.

The World Orchestra Series (WOS) held in November every year is Asia’s only orchestra festival. Korean and foreign orchestras perform and give workshops and symposia. The festival is attended annually by ca. 10,000 people, including both performers or conductors and classical music lovers.

The city is also holding various music-related festivals including the National Traditional Music Competition, the Daegu International Jazz Festival, the Daegu Folk Festival, the Youth Hip Hop Festival, and K-Pop and B-Boy competitions.

Daegu is trying hard to use its musical legacy to promote social integration, improve living conditions, to create more jobs, and to improve the image of the city.


[Daegu’s dream and challenge]

Vision: Daegu, a global city of culture created with citizens

Goal: Happy music city with melodies 


  1. Promote branding of dignified music creative city
  2. Build music creative city systems and network
  3. Revitalize creative industry for the region
  4. Foster music tourism with stories
  5. Cultivate creative talents for global music city
  6. Realize happy music city with Daegu citizens


Paul Jinho Kang (Director-General of International Cultural Affairs)
Amy Seonnam Lee (International Cultural Specialist)
Culture & Art Policy Division, Daegu City

(41911) #88, Gongpyeong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Email: creativecitydaegu@korea.kr
Phone: +82 53 803 4440~1
Mobile: +82 10 5180 2149 / +82 10 4693 2576
Fax: +82 53 803 3729


Facts and Figures

Daegu is globally recognized UNESCO City of Music
A place where piano first set foot in South Korea, a place where South Korera’s first classical music listening hall Nokhyang is being operated, a place where bach’s music flowed during war time, and a place where everyone can enjoy melodies anywhere at any time of the year.

Daegu is located in the southeastern region of the Republic of Korea.

Population (City)
Daegu is home to 2.5 million people.

Latest Music Projects

Daegu project

World Orchestra Series 2018 Comes to an End