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Sunday 28 Feb 2016

Philharmonia’s iOrchestra: the facts and figures revealed


The Philharmonia’s iOrchestra project is one of the most ambitious audience development and education projects ever undertaken by a UK Orchestra.

Focused across the South West Peninsula region of the UK (Torbay, Plymouth and Cornwall), iOrchestra sought to engage new audiences with the world of a symphony orchestra using a variety of digital, live concert and participation projects that attracted over 121,000 visitors across 26 weeks across 2014 and 2015.

iOrchestra was underpinned by a set of key audience development principles (developed in collaboration with Rachel Escott Audience Development) that encouraged visitors, many of whom had no previous experience of an orchestra, to curate their own journeys through and relationship with iOrchestra. Moreover, iOrchestra aimed to reposition the value and profile orchestral music plays within the region’s wider cultural offer, and strengthen the framework from which future work can be developed.

The Philharmonia commissioned three evaluation reports on iOrchestra which are available below for download:

·        iOrchestra: Review and Evaluation
·        iOrchestra Audiences Journeys
·        iOrchestra Audiences Reactions

We hope that these reports will be of value to colleague orchestras, local authorities, funders and the wider arts sector wishing to learn about our approach to audience development, the success and also the pitfalls.

The Philharmonia Orchestra is hosting an iOrchestra evaluation afternoon on Wednesday 20 April 2016, 1pm – 4.30pm at Plymouth Guildhall. The afternoon will consist of a short presentation on the project’s findings, a networking break, and then a series of workshop groups to discuss the findings and learning from the iOrchestra approach, and more broadly what the current barriers are for developing further orchestral activity in the region and the resources required to achieve this.
Attendance at the evaluation afternoon on 20 April is free (light refreshments provided) but booking is essential.  To reserve, please contact Alex Hill ([email protected] / T 0207 9213961).

Further details about iOrchestra can be found here: and further details available from James Williams, Director UK Programme and Creative Projects [email protected] / T 020 7921 3912.

iOrchestra is grateful to the following funders for their support: