The Education Programme

The Philharmonia’s distinctive education programme sits at the core of the organisation’s activity,
reflecting the Orchestra’s artistic integrity, identity and quality.

The department’s work falls into four distinct strands – Schools and Young People, Communities and Family, Insights and the Emerging Artists programme, reaching tens of thousands of people every year. It is an essential component of each of the Orchestra’s residencies, complementing the core London programme and our Residencies through a diverse range of projects, working with young people and adults from all spectrums of society in a multitude of settings including schools, higher education, community organisations and music education hubs.

The Philharmonia’s Education Department aims to inspire and engage as broad an audience as possible via an imaginative portfolio of participatory and educational projects, adding another dimension to the Orchestra’s work, and playing a central role in the broader life of the Orchestra.

If you would be interested in working with the Philharmonia or keen to find out more about projects in your area, please contact:

(+44) 020 7921 3904

What's happening in your region...

The Philharmonia Orchestra has worked on education projects across the UK. On the map, large dots indicate where the Orchestra is resident, and small dots indicate recent project locations.

Choose an area from the below list to tailor this page and see an overview, upcoming events and news posts for that region.

Education Projects Around The UK

Upcoming Public Events

Please check back soon for upcoming education events, or see upcoming concerts in this area.


The Virtual Orchestra

Friday 27 Jul 2018

As part of The Virtual Orchestrathe Philharmonia’s audience development project that aims to make orchestral music accessible to people with no, low or lapsed engagement with it, taking place in the Philharmonia’s residency cities of Bedford (2018), Leicester (2018), Canterbury (2019) and Basingstoke (2019) – the Education Department delivers a bespoke workshop programme for school groups, youth and adult community groups and families. We have received a very positive response from schools across Bedford, including primary, secondary and SEN schools. Workshops are be led by music education specialists John Webb and Patrick Bailey, who will guide groups through the installation before time for self-led exploration and reflection. In advance of their visit to the installation, teachers benefitted from a training session which took place on Friday 8 June. The session was tailored for non-music or digital specialist teachers, enabling them to prepare their groups and to deliver follow-up activities, supported by online resources and curriculum linked materials.

Hear and Now Fringe

Thursday 26 Jul 2018

Another key element of The Virtual Orchestra is the Fringe programme, a series of performances, creative participatory responses, and linked events curated by multiple local partners and community. Inspired by the installation, the Fringe programme in Bedford will include a wide range of events and activities. Music for Bedford Borough presented two concerts inside the installation itself, a massed brass band performance as well as a concert from young musicians taking part in their Saturday Morning Music Centre. The Fringe programme also featured a carnival and free running event, karaoke sessions and a small-scale Hear and Now project, in partnership with Tibbs Dementia Foundation’s Music 4 Memory and Fusion Youth Singing, led by Tim Steiner and inspired by The Virtual Orchestra installation. Participants took part in a creative weekend on 23 and 24 June, followed by an informal performance/sharing at the installation itself on 15 July.
We are also working hard on The Virtual Orchestra delivery in Leicester, taking place in October and November 2018.

Orchestra Unwrapped 2018/19

Thursday 26 Jul 2018

We are pleased to bring Orchestra Unwrapped back for the 2018/19 season. For the first time in its history, Orchestra Unwrapped will be coming to London, with a performance at the Royal Festival Hall on Thursday 29 November 2018. With the help and guidance of the Digital team, this season we will be including a new element to Orchestra Unwrapped, giving schools the opportunity to create a series of short films introducing the characters in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, some of which will be shown at the concert itself. The concerts in Leicester and in Basingstoke have already sold out and we expect around 2,000 pupils and teachers to join us for the concert in London. This season’s repertoire will be themed around ‘explorers and adventure’ and will feature music by Strauss, Rimsky-Korsakov and William Grant Still, as well as a newly commissioned audience participation piece by Paul Rissmann. The INSET sessions for teachers in preparation for the concerts in Leicester, London and Basingstoke will take place in mid-September.

Wandsworth Schools Music Service project

Wednesday 25 Jul 2018

Celebrating the wealth of musical progression and orchestral playing in Wandsworth, the Wandsworth Philharmonic Orchestra, Wandsworth Concert Orchestra and Philhamornia Orchestra joined forces to form a supersized orchestra inspired by Schoenberg’s musically massive Gurrelieder.

Philharmonia musicians provided sectional coaching and support to young string, wind and brass players, on a varied programme of music featuring Sibelius’Finlandia, a medley from My Fair Lady, excerpts from Mahler’s First Symphony and music by Shostakovich and John Williams. The project culminated in a concert on the Clore Ballroom on 28 June 2018 and involved over 130 young musicians from Grade 4 and above.