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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


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 sing an interactive audience participation piece 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.


Art and film 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

2019/20 concerts: all Orchestra Unwrapped concerts this academic year are now sold out.

  • Wednesday 20 November 2019, 1pm – De Montfort Hall, Leicester
  • Monday 24 February 2020, 1pm – Anvil Arts, Basingstoke
  • Thursday 27 February 2020, 1pm – Royal Festival Hall, London
  • Tuesday 17 March 2020, 1pm – Bedford Corn Exchange
  • Wednesday 1 April 2020, 1pm – De Montfort Hall, Leicester

2020/21 concerts: dates and booking details for our Orchestra Unwrapped concerts in the 2020/21 academic year will be announced in the summer term of 2020.

Cost: the cost of participating in Orchestra Unwrapped is £72 inc. VAT per class (approximately 30 children, plus accompanying adults). This includes concert tickets, a place at a teacher INSET session, the project resource pack and access to online resources.

How to book: When concerts for the 2020/21 academic year are announced, the booking form is here. If you would like to join the waiting list of a sold out concert, please complete a booking form to register your interest.

What next? Once you have submitted your online booking form, you will receive an automated response acknowledging your request for tickets. The Philharmonia Learning & Engagement team will review all booking requests, and if your application has been successful you will receive a booking confirmation and invoice.

You can expect to receive a response from the Learning & Engagement team within one month of submitting your booking request form. Please note that your booking is not guaranteed until you have received a booking confirmation and invoice.

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 3904.


Orchestra Unwrapped is dependent on donations from our audience members and supporters, trusts and foundations, and businesses.

Orchestra Unwrapped is currently, and previously has been, generously supported by:

ABO Sirens logo
Anvil Arts logo
Bedford Music Hub logo
De Monfort University logo
Harpur Trust logo

The Eranda Rothschild Foundation​

The Kobler Trust

We are also grateful to a circle of individual donors for their support of the project.