Many live concerts up to June 2021 are sadly cancelled. We will be in touch shortly to let you know about your refund options. If you can, give what you can to keep the Philharmonia playing for you.

Donate now

Schools Concerts

Orchestra Unwrapped is our long-running programme of schools’ concerts.

School children at Orchestra Unwrapped

Orchestra Unwrapped is our schools’ concert series for key stage 2 pupils, presented in London, Leicester, Bedford and Basingstoke. The programme offers thousands of children from many different backgrounds the opportunity to hear a live orchestra. The concert is accompanied by learning resources to explore music in the classroom.

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

Orchestra Unwrapped is supported by The Harpur Trust.
Additional support given by the
Philharmonia Orchestra in Bedford Trust.
Harpur Trust logo


About the project

Watch our 2012 film about Orchestra Unwrapped

Key features

An exciting programme of music based on a theme, presented by a music education specialist and played by the Philharmonia, one of the world’s great orchestras.

INSET teacher training, equipping teachers with the skills to maximise the concert experience for their pupils. Classroom exercises introduce the concert repertoire, as well as developing personal creativity, expression, confidence and group work skills.

An opportunity for children to take part in an interactive audience participation piece with the Philharmonia live in concert.

Accompaying in-school creative workshops designed to prepare children for the concert visit, bringing to life the players, instruments and programme.

Art projects linked to the repertoire, giving pupils the chance to have their work displayed during the concert.

Suitable for all children; as well as mainstream schools, Orchestra Unwrapped concerts are regularly attended by special schools, hospital schools and home educated children. Materials and activities can be tailored as required.

Partnerships with music hubs enable young instrumentalists to perform side-by-side within the Orchestra during the audience participation piece. Young musicians receive coaching from Philharmonia players in advance.

Need to know

2020/21 concerts: Due to the ongoing government social-distancing regulations, this year’s Orchestra Unwrapped will be a digital concert which you will be able to stream through our YouTube channel on Friday 23 April 2021, 1pm.

Cost: The concert is free to watch and available to all schools. The concert will remain on our YouTube channel for 6 months.

INSET: For schools located in our residencies of London, Leicester, Bedford, and Basingstoke, we are also offering online teacher training sessions and wrap-around resources to use with your class before and after the live stream on Friday 23 April 2021. Teacher INSET sessions will take place via Zoom on:

  • Wednesday 10 March 2021 / 9:00-10:30
  • Thursday 11 March 2021 / 15:30-18:00
  • Friday 12 March 2021 / 13:00-15:30

This session will assist teachers in preparing their classes for the virtual concert experience. The INSET training led by Lucy Drever, our concert presenter will guide teachers through the resource pack, giving practical examples of activities that teachers can do with their classes before and after the concert to make the most of the experience. To book your place on one of the INSET days please click HERE.

2021/22 concerts: dates and booking details for our Orchestra Unwrapped concerts in the 2021/22 academic year will be announced in the summer term of 2021.

Subscribe to our mailing list

To sign-up to our mailing list, please email, telling us your name, school, school address and school email.