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:

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

Wednesday 26 Jul 2017

Three Choirs Festival: Harp Recital

Hanbury Hall, Worcester, 10:30am


Friday 28 Jul 2017

Three Choirs Festival: Oboe Recital

Madresfield Court, Worcester, 11:00am


Thursday 28 Sep 2017

The Virtual Orchestra: Sibelius 360

Green Display Space 6 - Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, London, 5:00pm


Thursday 28 Sep 2017

Pre-Concert Talk

Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre, London, 6:15pm


Friday 29 Sep 2017

The Virtual Orchestra: Sibelius 360

Green Display Space 6 - Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, London, 5:00pm



Symphonize in Leicester and Kingston

Wednesday 3 May 2017

In partnership with Soft Touch Arts, Philharmonia Orchestra brought together young people from Fullhurst Community College, The Lancaster School and the Highfields Centre, Leicester with Soft Touch urban artists and Philharmonia musicians to compose, produce and perform their own tracks on an intensive week-long project. Taking inspiration from Beethoven’s infamous Symphony no. 5, participants explored fusing classical and urban musical styles and the project culminated at New Walk Museum, Leicester on Wednesday 11 January 2017. Click here to watch a documentary podcast about the project.

The project also took place in the London Borough of Kingston, working in partnership with Kingston Music Service and participants from Malden Oaks, a small school for students who have found it difficult to access mainstream education, and Anstee Bridge, a project that helps young people aged 15-16 build confidence to re-engage with education through creativity. Working with reggae and dub producer I-Mitri CounterAction, spoken word artist Leah Vee and Philharmonia musicians, participants took inspiration from Holst’s The Planets, and performed their new works at All Saints Church, Kingston on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

Orchestra Unwrapped 2016/17

Thursday 27 Apr 2017

The final schools concert of our renowned series Orchestra Unwrapped took place on Friday 24 March 2017 at De Montfort Hall, Leicester. This season, we’ve performed five Orchestra Unwrapped concerts themed ‘City, Town and Place’ at four venues across the UK (De Montfort Hall, Leicester – twice – The Anvil, Basingstoke, Bedford Corn Exchange, and The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury), reaching over 4,870 children and 740 adults. More than 100 teachers received training from music education specialist and concert presenter Paul Rissmann in advance of the concerts, and 21 talented young string players from three music hubs (Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service, Kent Music and the North Bedfordshire Youth Chamber Orchestra) performed side-by-side within the Philharmonia string section, receiving coaching in advance. This year the Philharmonia commissioned Paul Rissmann to write a new audience participation piece entitled Past-Present-Future? with a libretto from Hazel Gould, which took inspiration from creative contributions by pupils from eight schools in Leicester and Bedford.

Leicester University Chamber Choir

Saturday 22 Apr 2017

As an exciting development of our ongoing partnership with the University of Leicester, the ladies of Leicester University Chamber Choir (LUCC) performed with the Philharmonia offstage in ‘Neptune’ from Holst’s The Planets in the 16/17 Leicester season finale concert at De Montfort Hall on Saturday 22 April, as well as at Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 23 April, with newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali. Prior to the concerts, the ensemble received two coaching sessions from Aidan Oliver in February and March to refine the piece in preparation for their performance. Meanwhile, the men of LUCC presented their own concert consisting of a selection of solo and close harmony pieces, also receiving coaching in advance from choral specialist Robert Rice.