Historically known for being the traditional court music centre during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1905), Daegu is also responsible for first introducing Western music to Korea, as well as hosting the country's first piano performance. Daegu is also the birthplace of Korean modern music as many artists fled to the city during the Korean War, gathering there for a renaissance of Korean modern art and culture. Daegu is assuredly a thriving city of music and a key part of the country's overall industry, with 5.6% out of 77,490 nationwide involved, and generating 3.7% of the national music sales.
The city has hosted the very first and largest opera festival in Asia, the Daegu International Opera Festival (DIOF). This event records participation of 24 countries. The Daegu International Musical Festival is considered to be the national event for musicians. From high-profile music events to international conferences, the city strives to maximise its creative potential by engaging multi-stakeholder dialogue. In 2016, the Creative City Global Forum was organised with the objective of providing a platform to discuss and formulate a sustainable and responsive culture-led strategy for Daegu.
To support the music sector, the City has invested in the establishment of several cultural infrastructures including the Daegu Concert House and the Daegu Music Factory. Working with major European theatres in Italy and Germany, Daegu has developed a great number of exchange programmes enabling young musicians and students to develop professional opportunities and careers abroad. The City also plans to establish a city centre for music creation aimed at sharing experience and knowledge on global music industry, at developing synergies and partnerships with other cities and discussing how to further leverage music for sustainable socio-economic development.
As a Creative City of Music, Daegu envisages:
- strengthening the “Making Daegu a Culture City for Happy Citizens” strategy, a long-term vision to support cultural and creative industries for sustainable development;
- enhancing the value chain of the culture sector, from creation, production to dissemination, within the region;
- introducing cross-cutting approaches in cultural policies, linking culture and technology;
- expanding public-private exchanges and cooperation with other Creative Cities, particularly of North America and Africa; and
- establishing the city centre for music creation, providing a space in which to share experiences and knowledge related to the development of the music industry with other Creative Cities of Music.