South Korea

UNESCO City of Music

since 2015

UNESCO Designated City of Music in 2015

Located at the southern edge of the Korean peninsula, Tongyeong is famous for its beautiful marine surroundings, its many islands and waterways, its lively port town atmosphere and its famous seafood.
It is a city of culture, of the arts, and of music, being the home of many distinguished artists. It is also a city where history and ancient traditions are being kept alive.

Tongyeong is a city that knows to celebrate with lively festivals including Tongyeong Arts Festival, the Literature and Theatre Arts Festivals, the Great Battle of Hansan Festival, the Tongyeong Fringe Festivals, and the famous Tongyeong International Music Festival.
Music plays a significant role in Tongyeong. Celebrating its 14th year in 2016, Tongyeong International Music Festival is being considered one of the most influential and well respected contempory music festivals in Asia. Called “the Salzburg Festival of Asia“ by the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Newspaper, it pays tribute to the music of Isang Yun, who was born here in 1917 and later achieved worldwide recognition as one of the prominent composers of the 20th century.

In 2015, Tongyeong has become part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network that 116 cities from 54 countries around the world has joined. In line with UNESCO’s priorities and goals, Tongyeong aims to harness the full potential of culture and creativity as drivers of social inclusion and cohesion, placing music at the core of the city’s identity and development.

Looking into the future, Tongyeong is pushing its boundaries to further develop into a musical hub.


As a City of Music, Tongyeong will focus on:

Active Participation and cooperation

  • Actively participate in the activities of the UCCN and in the music sub-network.
  • Undertake inter-city projects with other Music cities to harness the full potential of the designation.


  • Continue already existing excellent music programs including TIMF School Concert Project and exchange know-how, best practices, and expertise between the cities to further foster music education

Building community

  • Implement initiatives intended for children and marginalized people to foster access and participation in cultural life.

Contribution to the world music scene

  • Enhance the mobility of artists by involving musicians from the UCCN in the city’s event including the Tongyeong International Music Festival.
  • Host international cultural events that will include the Music Cities as special guests in the future.


Creative Cities Network Team,
Tourism Marketing Department, Tongyeong City

Coordination : Seoyoung Jung
Tongyeonghaean-ro 515, Tongyeong,
Gyeongnam, 53040, South Korea

Email :
Phone: +82 55 650 0722
Fax: +82 55 650 0799
Mobile: +82 10 5636 6568


Facts and Figures

Coastal city in South Gyeongsang Province, Republic of Korea



566.91/ km²

Latest Music Projects

Tongyeong project | 28 Oct 2018

Isang Yun Competition 2018 – Discipline : Cello

TFO Tour 2017
Hannover project, Tongyeong project | 28 Sep 2017

Tongyeong Festival Orchestra European Tour 2017

Tongyeong project | 28 Oct 2017

The International ISANGYUN Competition