Small ensemble series

The Philharmonia is a flexible ensemble of world-class musicians. Two of our key series, Music of Today and Philharmonia Chamber Players, are for small groups of players. Find out more about them here.

Photo of flautist Claire Chase with the Philharmonia

Music of Today

Unsuk Chin, Artistic Director (to 2020)
Esa-Pekka Salonen, Curator (2020/21)

The Philharmonia has a long-standing commitment to commissioning and performing new music, having given the premiere of Strauss’s Four Last Songs and Peter Maxwell Davies’s First Symphony, among hundreds of others.

Music of Today builds on this legacy, with a regular series of vibrant new music performances for small ensemble. Running since the 1980s, the series presents work by a dynamic and diverse range of composers and performers from around the world, artists who are defining the present and future of music.

Composers including James MacMillan, Julian Anderson and Unsuk Chin have been Artistic Director of Music of Today, with Chin’s final season of concerts being presented in 2019/20. In 2020/21, Esa-Pekka Salonen curates the series. Most performances take place in venues across London’s Southbank Centre site, with a series of seven curated performances and sound installations each year.

Nearly all Music of Today concerts are free, giving audiences the chance to take a chance on experiencing something new and interesting.



Flautist Claire Chase and composer Dai Fujikura in conversation

Music of Today is supported by an anonymous donor.

The Philharmonia Orchestra gratefully acknowledges Esa-Pekka Salonen’s support of Music of Today.

Philharmonia Chamber Players

Philharmonia Chamber Players performances are a chance to hear the Orchestra’s musicians in a more intimate setting.

These free, small-ensemble concerts are each programmed by a different member of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and present chamber masterpieces from all eras. Our players relish the chance to show a different side to their musicianship and share the music they love with audiences.

Philharmonia Chamber Players performances take place in a regular series at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, usually before a concert from the full Orchestra later that evening.

Recently the programme has expanded, with Chamber Players concerts taking place in venues across south-east England.


Philharmonia Chamber Players

Watch Philharmonia members share what they enjoy about the Chamber Players series

In pictures