UNESCO City of Music

since 2023

Music has since the late 19th century been the language of encounters between the different cultures inhabiting this borderland. The Monteverdi Conservatory has contributed to the city’s reputation for musical excellence: Bolzano is home to the Busoni Piano Competition, since 1949 recognised as one of the most prestigious international competitions. The residencies of the European Union Youth Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and the Gustav Mahler Academy for advanced students – all projects initiated by Maestro Claudio Abbado – enliven summer in Bolzano. Bolzano is also home to the Haydn Orchestra, established in 1960 as a regional reference point for musical listening and education. The Konzertverein, founded in 1855, is still offering an excellent chamber music program. The city hosts international festivals in various creative fields each year: the Bolzano Film Festival, featuring the works of young European directors; the Südtirol Jazzfestival; Bolzano Danza, a reference point for contemporary dance; Transart, a festival of music, contemporary art and experimentation; and the food festivals that celebrate the meeting of two cuisines, namely genuine mountain cookery and the more refined Mediterranean approach.

Cultural associations, choirs and folk music bands enliven the city’s cultural everyday life.

The designation reaffirms the work that Bolzano has been doing for many years in the fields of music and culture, offering the opportunity to create new local/international collaborations and to share knowledge, experiences within the network in all sectors.

Bolzano’s proposed projects intend to focus on culture as a strategic factor for sustainable development:

  • to make the city more inclusive via the power of music as a tool for dialogue between generations and for involving the new citizens in our border region;
  • to increase the involvement of younger audiences, offering creativity in general as an opportunity for personal and professional growth;
  • to use digital technology to keep abreast of the times and, with other international entities, to share the vast potential offered by new technologies for the access to and use of music;
  • to foster and contribute to the growth of a world where inequalities can be further reduced.

We’re convinced that music is able to break down the boundaries of individuals, tuning emotions on a common channel and teaching us every day to listen to each other. Music is the language that can lead to a mature, just and sustainable social dimension. Music can unite peoples in common feelings under the sign of peace.

Photo credits:
Main image: Become Ocean – Orchestra Haydn Orchester – Transart16 © Transart – Photo: Gregor Khuen Belasi
Slider images: EUYO, 2014 Vasily Petrenko© BolzanoFestivalBozen Photo: Gregor Khuen Belasi | Carmens Souza, Ella, 2023 Auditorium Bolzano Bozen


Dott./Dr. Sabrina Michielli
Direttrice della Struttura organizzativa del Sindaco
Direktorin der Organisationseinheit des Bürgermeisters
Comune di Bolzano / Gemeinde Bozen
piazza Municipio 5
Rathausplatz 5
Stanza/Zimmer 137
39100 Bolzano – Bozen
Tel. 0471 997219 (2219)
Cellulare / Handy +39 3346000516

Facts and Figures

The city of Bozen/Bolzano, capital of the Province of Alto Adige/Südtirol/SouthTyrol in northern Italy, forms a bridge between north and south not least because of the three languages spoken there (Italian, German and Ladin).

With apopulation of around 107,000 it is a livelycity, located in an Alpine valley with a mildclimate, near renowned mountaincentres, it is an important tourist destination.

The Province has a special Statute that regualates the rights of the German and Ladinspeaking minorities. The fusion ofItalian and German culture is clearlyreflected in its cultural productions.

The South Tyrolean model of cohabitation and its autonomy in the heart of Europe are now an international reference point: Bolzano can look to the future while maintaining strong ties to its roots, offering scenarios in which traditional and modern are constantly intertwined.