The London Philharmonic Orchestra's BrightSparks concerts are aimed at Key Stages 1–5, offering the opportunity for school students to experience an orchestral concert – live!
Each year we provide 10,000 students with this opportunity, with the programming and presentation of the concerts designed in line with National Curriculum objectives.
For a large proportion of pupils these events are the first time they will have visited a concert hall to hear a live orchestra, giving them an intense and inspiring experience. Concerts include free INSET sessions and resources for teachers, which cover ways to explore the repertoire with their students, both analytically and as a starting point for creative composition.
BrightSparks concert dates 2018/19
Key Stage 1: Monday 8 October 2018, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall – sold out
A Level seminar: Mon 12 November 2018, 11.30am, Queen Elizabeth Hall – booking closed
GCSE: Thursday 14 February 2019, 11.30am-c.12.45pm, Royal Festival Hall – booking closed
Key Stage 2: Tuesday 7 May 2019, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall – sold out
Key Stage 2: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
Tuesday 7 May 2019, 10.30am-11.30am & 12.30pm-1.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
Join the London Philharmonic Orchestra for this year’s Key Stage 2 BrightSparks concert, in which we explore Benjamin Britten’s classic piece: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. We will meet each instrument family in turn: woodwind, brass, strings and percussion, to discover the different sounds and colours of the orchestra. The concert also features extracts from Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, which paint a vivid picture of the sea, and a rousing audience participation sea shanty!
Presented by Rachel Leach, this concert will be a fun exploration of the orchestra, and a celebration of British music, linked with the LPO’s Isle of Noises series throughout 2019.
A free INSET session will take place on Wednesday 6 March for teachers who book for the concert, offering ways into the music, classroom activities, and tips on the audience participation song (must be booked in advance). All schools who book will be able to access a Teacher’s Resource Pack and audio to help learn the song.
Tickets are £3 per child, free for accompanying adults, and include written and audio resources for the concert.
These concerts are now sold out.
Past concerts this season:
A Level Seminar
Monday 12 November 2018, 11.30am-12.45pm, Queen Elizabeth Hall
From Cherubino’s excitable crushes and Figaro’s plotting and scheming, to the white hot anger of the Queen of the Night, Mozart’s operas contain a world of emotion and drama. This season, the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s A Level Seminar focuses on the genius of these works, exploring key sections in depth.
The seminar will include performances of extracts from The Marriage of Figaro (AQA set work) and The Magic Flute (Edexcel set work), and the content of the seminar will also be relevant to students studying the OCR syllabus (Area of Study 1: the Instrumental music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven). The extracts will be performed in the original language, with English surtitles, as a concert performance.
The seminar will be presented by composer and animateur John Webb, who will discuss musical analysis and structure, with music performed by recent alumni of the National Opera Studio and a chamber ensemble from the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The event lasts approximately 75 minutes (no interval) and will be a mixture of live music and interactive presentation, alongside an informative slideshow.The seminar will take place at the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s Southbank Centre. Tickets are priced at £4 per student, with accompanying teachers free.
Key Stage 1: The Highway Rat
Monday 8 October 2018, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
‘Give me your buns and your biscuits! Give me your chocolate éclairs! For I am the Rat of the Highway ... and the Rat Thief never shares!’
Following last year’s screening of The Gruffalo’s Child with live orchestral soundtrack, the London Philharmonic Orchestra presents The Highway Rat – a new animated special from Magic Light Pictures, based on the action-packed picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The film will be projected on the big screen, with René Aubry’s soundtrack performed live by the LPO.
The programme will also include additional complementary music and audience participation songs, led by our concert presenter and singing specialist, Lucy Griffiths.
A free INSET session for teachers who book tickets will take place in September (Mon 17 September at 10.30am and Wed 19 September at 4.30pm), exploring ways to use the themes and music of the concert with your children in preparation for the concert.
GCSE: Isle of Noises
Thursday 14 February 2019, 11.30am--c.12.45pm, Royal Festival Hall
A symphony composed in London, the first great opera written in English, a film score created for the London Philharmonic Orchestra... This season’s GCSE BrightSparks concert celebrates music from or inspired by Britain, as part of the LPO’s Isle of Noises focus throughout 2019.
Presented by animateur and composer Rachel Leach and conducted by Michael Seal, the LPO will perform extracts from Haydn’s Clock Symphony (AQA set work), Purcell’s Dido’s Lament and Music for a While (Edexcel set work, AQA and OCR Baroque style and structure) and Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings Suite (Edexcel wider listening), which was originally played by the LPO on the film soundtrack, and through which we look at elements of film music (Edexcel, AQA and OCR syllabuses).
The concert will also include other related repertoire, exploring wider musical learning at GCSE level, including two of Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes (AQA Western Classical Traditions since 1910).Tickets are £3 per student, free for accompanying adults, and include written and digital resources related to the concert.
BrightSparks is generously supported by the Candide Trust, Garf & Gill Collins, Dunard Fund, Mr & Mrs Philip Kan, The Rivers Foundation, The Thistle Trust and the LPO's runners in the Summer 2018 British 10K
School discounts for Royal Festival Hall evening concerts
Our 2018/19 London season features a number of concerts that include music directly relevant to 2018/19 GCSE and A Level Music syllabuses, making them perfect for introducing students to live classical music.