Music Hub Projects: Philharmonia Strings

In 2014/15 the Philharmonia Orchestra worked in partnership with Hounslow and Sutton Music Services to address the difficulties both boroughs faced in recruiting high quality young string players. 

String players from Sutton and Hounslow Youth Orchestras and from Sutton Young Musicians Orchestra and Hounslow Concert Strings were invited to take part in a series of weekend workshops with players from the Philharmonia and tutors from both services, and two string orchestras were specially created.

The Britten Orchestra, led from the chair by Philharmonia First Violin Adrián Varela, was formed of young string players at Grade 6 and above, and performed challenging repertoire without a conductor. This provided the players with:

  • New skills focused on developing chamber music skills
  • Genuine side-by-side playing alongside Philharmonia professionals
  • A high profile performance opportunity 

A feeder Grade 2-5 orchestra, The Warlock Orchestra, was also established for the boroughs' younger children, who focused on refining technical aspects of string playing including:

  • Quality of tone in pizzicato playing
  • Point of contact in bowing
  • Blending together across sections

The project culminated with a performance by both orchestras on the Royal Festival Hall stage in advance of a Philharmonia evening concert on 26 April 2015.

If you would like to support our Education programme, please contact the Philharmonia’s Development team on 020 7921 3903 or


The project was generously supported by the Mayor's Music Fund

Mayors Music Fund logo‚Äč