In 2009 the city of Ghent was recognized as UNESCO City of Music as worldwide recognition of the city’s position as a trendsetter in music.
This Belgian city, with a population of 257,029 inhabitants, is filled with culture, arts and events and offers a unique combination of a celebrated past and a lively present.
The city is able to support creative activities and performing arts thanks to the many infrastructures at its disposal, beautiful concert halls, educational facilities and research centres; the most historical ones are: the fifteenth-century city palace hosting the Conservatory, the Music Centre De Bijloke, the Flemish Opera, the eclectic concert building de Handelsbeurs and the pioneering arts centre Vooruit.
The city also pays a lot of attention to music education; Ghent is highly regarded thanks to its Conservatory, the Opestudio, the Orpheusinstituut and several music courses for people of all ages. It is also regarded for its universities and higher education courses, hosting many students coming from all over the world.
The music scene in Ghent is very dynamic and rich because of its many festivals and events worldly renowned and appreciated. The International Festival of Flanders is one of the top festivals in Europe for classical music offering a wide range of concerts. Another top in its genre is the open-air Ghent Jazz festival, characterised by an amazing repertoire of international musicians and as a platform for young, up-and-coming talent. The Ghent International Film Festival focusing on the impact of music on film is the only film festival worldwide which pays special attention to film music. The city also organizes GLIMPS, an international showcase festival for pop and rock music.
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