COVID-19 update: We have made the difficult decision to cancel or postpone all Philharmonia Orchestra concerts and performances up to the end of June 2020.
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Our flagship urban-classical fusion project is based in Leicester.

Symphonize culmination event, Leicester, 2018

For the last 5 years, Symphonize has empowered young people through intensive, collaborative working which taps into their passion for popular music and technology whilst offering an opportunity to explore different musical styles and approaches.

Symphonize 2019 to me is about being all together. We’re just working on it together and going through it together so we’re not all alone.”

Symphonize participant, 2019


Symphonize 2018

Watch excerpts from the culmination performance of Symphonize 2018, in Leicester

About the project

Symphonize is a pioneering urban-classical fusion project collaborating with teenagers facing challenging circumstances.

We work in partnership with Soft Touch Arts, the award-winning Leicester charity that uses arts, media and music activities to inspire and engage young people who lack opportunities or have challenges in their lives. The project enables a selected group of young people to work as equals alongside an artistic team of Philharmonia musicians, Soft Touch hip-hop, reggae and dub producers and spoken word artists. Together participants compose, produce, record and perform original, cross-genre music.

Working in targeted areas of Leicester, the partnership offers training in performance, music technology, recording, production and composition with experienced professionals. We aim to equip young people with new skills, increased confidence and social connection, broader horizons and motivation.

The project includes:

Training for leaders, musicians and young mentors, including skill-sharing and exchanging experiences.

Outreach ‘taster’ workshops with up to 50 participants aged 11 to 19, with Philharmonia musicians and Soft Touch hip-hop, reggae and dub producers.

An intensive project with specialised workshops to compose, produce, record and perform live an original work blending classical repertoire and style with urban and electronic beats.

An associated video project to create and manipulate visual content inspired by the work of the musicians and the themes of the performance.

Continued support in instrumental learning through Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service.

We are currently fundraising for our next Symphonize project and plans are underway to expand the project to Kent from the 2020/21 season.

For more information about the Philharmonia’s work with community groups and families and how to get involved, please contact Catherine Bullough, Community and Outreach Manager on 020 7921 3923 or


Previous supporters of Symphonize include:

Awards for all_Lottery Funded
National Foundation for Youth Music

Edith Murphy Foundation

The R J Corah Foundation Fund

Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation