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 music education specialist Paul Rissmann.
  • 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 by composer Paul Rissmann 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 top 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 2018/19

  • Friday 16 November 2018, 1pm - De Montfort Hall, Leicester
  • Thursday 29 November 2018, 1pm - Royal Festival Hall, London
  • Wednesday 5 December 2018, 1pm - De Montfort Hall, Leicester
  • Wednesday 23 January 2019, 1pm - The Anvil, Basingstoke
  • Monday 29 April 2019, 1pm - Bedford Corn Exchange

To find out more, including how and when to book, visit the details for schools page.


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 [email protected]

Orchestra Unwrapped is generously supported by:

Anvil Arts logoThe Eranda Rothschild Foundation​Harpur Trust logo

We are also grateful to the following for their support of the project:

  • The Boshier-Hinton Foundation
  • The Maud Elkington Charitable Trust
  • Leicestershire & Rutland Masonic Charity Association
  • The Kobler Trust

and a circle of individual donors.

The performance of Sinfonia to Talestri by Maria Antonia Walpurgis is made possible with funding from the ABO Trust's Sirens programme, a ten year initiative to support the performance and promotion of music by historical women composers.