Orchestra Unwrapped: About the Project

Orchestra Unwrapped is a concert series for children aged 7-11 in London, Leicester, Bedford, Basingstoke and Canterbury. The programme offers thousands of children from many different cultural backgrounds and educational circumstances a dynamic opportunity to hear a world class orchestra on their own doorstep, accompanied by the learning resources to fully understand it.

"Orchestra Unwrapped was really awesome. I thought the music was relaxing for a moment...then it made you want to dance."

Herrick Primary School pupil, Leicester


  • An exciting programme of music based on a theme, presented by a music education specialist.
  • INSET teacher training, equipping teachers with the skills to maximise the concert experience for their pupils via pre- and post-concert classroom exercises, as well as developing personal creativity, expression, confidence and group work skills.
  • An opportunity for children to sing an interactive and engaging audience participation piece with the Philharmonia live in concert. 
  • Accompanying in-school creative workshops designed to prepare children for the concert visit, bringing to life the players, instruments and programme. 
  • Inspiring music played by one of the world’s great orchestras. Orchestra Unwrapped gives each child the opportunity to enjoy and learn about music locally, whatever their background.
  • Suitable for all children; as well as mainstream schools, Orchestra Unwrapped concerts are regularly attended by special schools, home educated children, pupil referral units, and looked-after children. Materials and activities can be tailored as appropriate.
  • Partnerships with music hubs enable young instrumentalists to perform side-by-side within the Orchestra during the audience participation piece, with the young musicians receiving coaching from Philharmonia players in advance.

CONCERTS 2019/20

  • Wednesday 20 November 2019, 1pm - De Montfort Hall, Leicester
  • Monday 24 February 2020, 1pm - The Anvil, Basingstoke
  • Thursday 27 February 2020, 1pm - Royal Festival Hall, London
  • Tuesday 17 March 2020, 1pm - Bedford Corn Exchange
  • Wednesday 1 April 2020, 1pm - De Montfort Hall, Leicester


Orchestra Unwrapped is dependent upon donations from our audience members and supporters, trusts and foundations, and business.

If you would like to support Orchestra Unwrapped, please contact the Philharmonia’s Development team on 020 7921 3903 or development@philharmonia.co.uk

Orchestra Unwrapped is generously supported by:

Anvil Arts logo       The Eranda Rothschild Foundation​  Harpur TrustThe Kobler Trust

We are also grateful to a circle of individual donors for their support of the project.