Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at Yamagata Creative Cities Conference


ACOM would like to congratulate Colin Cornish, CEO of the Adelaide Symphany Orchestra for his well-received presentation at the Yamagata Creative Cities International Conference 2023 in Japan. The only English presentation, extensive support was provided by conference organisers to ensure the material was translated and understood by everyone present.

Yamagata joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2017, becoming the first Creative City of Film in Japan. In addition to its focus on film, Yamagata is known for its diverse cultural arts and considers film as a unifying element connecting various cultural activities in the city.

Yamagata UNESCO City of Film office invited Adelaide City of Music to attend and participate in the Yamagata Creative Cities International Conference 2023. The conference focus was Sustainable Creative Cities with Orchestras and the role they can play in developing sustainable cities by shaping important discussions and understanding surrounding the impacts of environmental change on society and the world.

Yamagata was seeking a speaker to outline initiatives that have successfully integrated orchestras with education, local resources, and industries and its status as a UNESCO City of Music. ACOM helped identify and facilitated a speaker, Colin Cornish, CEO of the ASO to participate in the conference.

Colin’s presentation centred around the community engagement project, Floods of Fire 2024, inspired by the devastating fires and floods of 2019-20. Led by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director, Airan Berg, in collaboration with Adelaide Festival, The University of Adelaide, and over 100 South Australian partner organisations, this two-day festival within a festival celebrated the creativity and stories of South Australians.

Its three major sections included:

Our Voices, Our Dreams, featuring short creative interventions by citizens, communities, cultural leaders, artists, scientists, researchers, and activists;

Citizens Orchestra, an intercultural, intergenerational orchestra and chorus welcoming participants of all levels, with ASO musicians and diverse professional musicians serving as workshop leaders, mentors, and performers; and

Our Celebration, a presentation at Adelaide Festival Theatre featuring eight works written specifically for Floods of Fire, including performances by Electric Fields.

Floods of Fire stands as one of South Australia’s largest collaborations, uniting citizens, artists, scientists, communities, and partner organisations in a remarkable display of creativity and unity.

Yamagata UNESCO City of Film enthusiastically responded to this uniquely South Australia and world leading project. Adelaide City of Music is committed to facilitating opportunities to promote South Australian music culture across the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and beyond.