A key part of the Orchestra's Leicester residency is Orchestra Unwrapped. Reaching thousands of primary school children each year, this specially tailored concert series provides a dynamic, interactive and accessible introduction to the orchestra and its instruments. Accompanying teacher training sessions and resources ensure that understanding is deepened, and that the legacy of the project lasts long beyond the concert experience.
The Orchestra is privileged to have been invited to perform at several special events in Leicester, including the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics in July 2009, where Philharmonia brass and percussion players performed a fanfare alongside two youth brass bands and children from five Leicester SEN schools who had also helped compose it. In 2012, the Philharmonia was chosen to represent culture in the city at the Olympic Torch Relay event in Abbey Park. A recording of the Orchestra was projected onto giant screens, accompanying pupils from Mellor Primary School who sang several Orchestra Unwrapped audience participation pieces to an audience of thousands.
The University of Leicester has worked in partnership with the Philharmonia for several years, enabling collaborations between members of the Orchestra and students involved in musical activities at the University. The programme of work encompasses tuition for music scholarship holders, coaching of student-led ensembles, discounted concert tickets, and arts management advice. Read more here
With concert seasons continuing to feature world-class artists, and the growth of projects such as those detailed above, the Philharmonia looks forward to continuing its successful Leicester residency for many years to come.