Music Hubs & higher education

We work in partnership with institutions to deliver projects and initiatives that support partners’ strategic aims and nurture the next generation of musical talent.

Young trumpet players on stage together

Music hubs

We work closely with Music Education Hubs in South West London and in the Orchestra’s residencies of Leicester, Bedford, Canterbury and Basingstoke to deliver projects and initiatives that support each Hub’s strategic aims and nurture the next generation of musical talent.

“Learning from Philharmonia players… has motivated me to improve.”

Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service participant

About the project

The Orchestra engages in a wide range of projects with Music Hub partners to support orchestral instrumental progression. Projects are planned in close collaboration with each Hub and vary in scope and duration, but often have a focus on recruiting and nurturing beginner orchestral musicians, as well as supporting promising young instrumentalists.

Recent projects include:

  • Coaching sessions led by Philharmonia players for music service ensembles including Wandsworth Philharmonic Orchestra, Wandsworth Concert Orchestra and Sutton Youth Wind Orchestra
  • Side-by-side support from Philharmonia players during performances at venues including Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and De Montfort Hall
  • A classical-folk fusion day led by Joe Broughton with support from Philharmonia players, using classical repertoire as the basis for improvisation
  • Collaborations with Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service and Hounslow Music Service on large-scale projects involving newly commissioned pieces by Fraser Trainer and Siobhan Lamb for mixed ensemble, leading to high-profile performance platforms
  • Taster days led by Philharmonia players to support the uptake of particular instruments
  • An opportunity for string players to perform side-by-side on stage with the Philharmonia as part of our Orchestra Unwrapped schools’ concerts

For more information about the Philharmonia’s work with Music Education Hubs and how to get involved, please contact the Learning and Engagement team at

Higher education

We work in partnership with universities and higher education institutions across our residencies to support student music-making, and to provide opportunities for students to benefit from the expertise of both Philharmonia musicians and members of the management team.

“The players from the Philharmonia have an incredible knack of breaking down the music bit by bit, so that when it’s all put back together the band sounds so much better.”

President of the University of Leicester Concert Band

De Montfort University

In autumn 2016, the Philharmonia Orchestra celebrated the beginning of its 20th season in residence at De Montfort Hall in Leicester with the launch of a major Strategic Partnership agreement with De Montfort University.

The five-year partnership delivers a wealth of opportunities for students and develops links between musicians and staff from the two organisations. The partnership is underpinned by DMU’s support of the Orchestra’s De Montfort Hall residency as ‘Principal Partner’.

Recent projects include:

  • Hear and Now – our intergenerational community music project presented in partnership with Leicester Musical Memory Box that sees DMU students and Philharmonia musicians work with members of the community living with dementia alongside primary school children learning brass instruments
  • Bespoke Mentoring and Coaching programmes give DMU campus ensembles and DMU Music Scholars the opportunity to work with members of the Philharmonia, including receiving side-by-side concert support and one-on-one tuition
  • Student Ambassador and Employability Insights schemes connecting students with the Orchestra’s management, including behind-the-scenes access for students to learn about the business of running an arts organisation
De Montfort University

University of Leicester

Since 2010 the Philharmonia Orchestra’s partnership with the University of Leicester has provided valuable support to the student-led music activity on campus. Our musicians and staff provide coaching, one-to-one instrumental tuition, conducting and composition tuition, specialist guidance, marketing support and practical advice.

Annual auditions determine who will be awarded instrumental scholarships, and recipients also participate in ensembles run by the university’s Music Association. Leicester University Music Association ensembles, including the orchestra, big band, concert band and choirs, receive coaching from Philharmonia musicians and specialist music leaders.

University of Leicester logo

Canterbury Christ Church University

Since 2016 Canterbury Christ Church University has invited Philharmonia Orchestra members to give a chamber performance at St Gregory’s Centre for Music as part of a regular lunchtime recital series. Following the recital, players have led a public masterclass for students on the Music course at the University, providing feedback on student performances as well as giving insights into life as a professional musician.

Canterbury Christ CHurch logo


Many Philharmonia players are professors at some of the UK’s leading conservatoires. The Orchestra makes the most of their experience and expertise in guiding aspiring orchestral players into the profession.

Rehearsal sit-in schemes with the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music allow wind, brass and percussion students to sit within the relevant section and observe players at close quarters. Participants often have a chance to play under the baton of some of the world’s greatest conductors.

Philharmonia players also work with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance on side-by-side coaching projects, helping their ensembles prepare for upcoming concerts with detailed sectional work and orchestral coaching, as well as playing side-by-side with the students. Students are also given the opportunity to attend Philharmonia rehearsals to better understand the workings of a professional orchestra.

Philharmonia Orchestra first violins

For more information about the Philharmonia’s work with universities and how to get involved, please contact the Learning and Engagement team at