Schools Concerts

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

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Philharmonia Orchestra Unwrapped c. Belinda Lawley

Orchestra Unwrapped is our schools’ concert series for Key Stage 2 pupils, presented in London, Leicester and Bedford. 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


About the project

Watch our 2023 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.

Click here to access our Orchestra Unwrapped resources

Orchestra Unwrapped 2023/24

The concert theme for 2023/24 is Celebrating the Sounds of America.  Presented by Lucy Drever, the programme explores the evolution of music in America, highlighting some of the historical figures who have shaped American music, and features a lively and engaging mix of classical music, film scores and jazz.

The concert has been devised especially for Key Stage 2 pupils and is suitable for all children. As well as mainstream schools, Orchestra Unwrapped concerts are regularly attended by SEND schools and home-educated children. Materials and activities can be tailored as appropriate.

Need to know

Our 2023/24 Orchestra Unwrapped concert bookings are now open. The concert dates are:

London, Royal Festival Hall, Thursday 2nd November 2023, 1pm-2pm

Leicester, De Montfort Hall, Wednesday 8th November 2023, 1pm-2pm

Bedford, Corn Exchange, Tuesday 12th March 2024, 1pm-2pm


Theme: For Orchestra Unwrapped 2023/24, we will celebrate the Sounds of America and explore the evolution of music in America, highlighting some of the historical figures who have shaped American music.

Cost: The cost of participating in Orchestra Unwrapped is £4 per student, plus 1 free teacher ticket per 10 students. Additional staff tickets are priced at £4 per teacher. If you are a SEND provision, please make this clear in your booking so we can accommodate any additional needs and support staff required.

How to book: Booking for our Orchestra Unwrapped concerts is processed through a booking form available here.

What next? Once you have submitted your online booking form, you will receive an automated response acknowledging your request for tickets.

You can expect to receive a response from the Learning & Engagement team within one month to confirm your booking and send you an invoice, if your request is successful.

Please note that your booking is not guaranteed until you have received a booking confirmation and invoice. If you did not receive an automated response please contact the Learning & Engagement team at

Can I make changes to my booking request once I’ve submitted the form? Yes – if you would like to make any changes please contact the Philharmonia Learning & Engagement team on or call 020 7921 3910.

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