Metz was voted as a UNESCO Creative City of Music on 30th October by the UNESCO General Director, Audrey Azoulay. It joins the network of 246 UNESCO creative cities across the world.
Metz is now part of the closed circle of the six French cities which hold this title. In addition, it became the first French city to be a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities network in the domain of music.
This certification is a great international recognition. This title is beneficial to the city in terms of attractiveness, but it also rewards the relevance of Metz’s application, entitled “Music as a lever for education, training, communication and social inclusion”. This was achieved thanks to the strategic role of the Cité Musicale-Metz, based on the idea that music represents an excellent means of fostering learning, discussion, inclusion and reducing social inequalities – all of which are major assets for sustainable and harmonious urban development. This label will allow engagement in international cooperations and collaborations with the many international participants of the UNESCO Creative City network.
Metz singing is the ancestor of Gregorian chant. The school (or “Scola”) that was built at the time had a prestigious reputation throughout the Middle Ages. A city of remarkable, romantic composers (Ambroise Thomas, Gabriel Pierné, Théodore Gouvy...), it has had an opera since the 18th century and a conservatory since the beginning of the 19th century.
Metz has a large, lively music scene, with many societies and choirs, a Harmony which dates back to the French Revolution, many festivals, multiple contemporary music groups, prestigious musical ensembles including the Concert Lorrain and even a contemporary music scene with artists such as Cascadeur and Chapelier Fou.
Make the most of your stay in Metz Métropole and go and see a show!
Cité Musicale-Metz brings together the three performance venues in Metz (Arsenal, BAM and Trinitaires) and the Metz National Orchestra in an ambitious project of creation and artistic innovation.
With its 72 musicians directed by David Reiland, the Metz National Orchestra gives around 80 concerts and shows per year, in Metz in the magnificent Arsenal auditorium, or in their permanent residence at the Metz Metropole Opera-Theatre in the Grand Est Region. The Metz National Orchestra has supported and coordinated the Démos Metz-Moselle project since the end of 2016.
The Metz Arsenal, exceptional architectural heritage revamped by the architect Ricardo BOFILL, was opened in 1989 by the famous conductor and violinist Rostropovitch. The Grande Salle is particularly famous for its unrivalled acoustic qualities, and welcomes many recordings as well as high-profile events such as the Victoires de la Musique Classique ceremony in February 2020.
The Arsenal is now among some of the more prestigious auditoriums in Europe and offers a rich and varied programme, of symphonic, baroque, and jazz music... as well as dance.
Besides Mstislav Rostropovitch, other big names have performed here such as Ievgueni Svetlanov, Sergiu Celibidache, Lorin Mazel, Evgeny Kissin, William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Ivan Fisher, Jordi Savall, Philippe Jaroussky...). The Arsenal also regularly hosts renowned artists in residence (Martin Matalon, Philippe Leroux, Nathalie Stutzmann...).
Dance has also played a strong part in the programme since the beginning. The most emblematic figures in creative contemporary choreography have performed at the Arsenal (Angekin Preljocaj, Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown...).
Located on the Sainte-Croix hill, in the historic heart of Metz, former 70s jazz club Les Trinitaires are developing a demanding and independent artistic line-up, in close collaboration with around twenty societies. It is also a lively place in a remarkable architectural heritage setting.
The Boîte à Musiques (Music Box) was opened in 2014 and is dedicated to Contemporary Music. The building’s architecture, designed by Rudy Ricciotti, gives it a strong, singular and unique identity. Offering a varied and ambitious programme, the BAM has four sound-proofed and fully equipped rehearsal studios, open to all musicians.