BrightSparks concerts

The London Philharmonic Orchestra's BrightSparks concerts are concerts 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 concerts 2017/18

Key Stage 1: Wednesday 18 October 2017, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall - SOLD OUT
GCSE: Monday 5 March 2018, 11.30am - c.12.45pm, Royal Festival Hall 
Key Stage 2: Tuesday 5 June 2018, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall 

Key Stage 1

Wednesday 18 October, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall - SOLD OUT
Teacher INSET: Monday 18 September 2017, 10.30am & 4.30pm

The Gruffalo's Child

"The Gruffalo said that no Gruffalo should
Ever set foot in the deep dark wood."

But one night the Gruffalo's Child ignores her father and decides to see for herself whether the Big Bad Mouse really exists.

Join the London Philharmonic Orchestra for our Key Stage 1 concert featuring a screening of the 2011 animated film version of Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler's much-loved sequel to The Gruffalo, with live orchestra.  We will explore the instruments and sounds of the orchestra, and there will be plenty of audience participation singing of specially-arranged songs.

A free INSET session for teachers, led by concert presenter Polly Ives, will take place on Monday 18 September, focusing on the audience participation songs and singing in the classroom.

This concert has sold out

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Past concerts


Wednesday 23 November 2016, 11.30am - c.12.45pm, Royal Festival Hall
Teacher INSET: Tuesday 11 October 2016, 4.30pm - 6.30pm

This year’s GCSE concert sees the London Philharmonic Orchestra performing a programme with a spotlight on solos and soloists, responding to both the old and new exam syllabuses. We will explore two Edexcel set works, as well as pieces representing topics from four exam boards (Edexcel, OCR, AQA, Eduqas) including a focus on Film Music, the Concerto and Programme Music.

The programme will include the third movement of J.S. Bach’s Brandenberg Concerto no.5 and extracts from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, as well as Peripetie, the fourth of Schoenberg’s Five Orchestral Pieces.  A level teachers may also be interested in bringing their students to this concert, as it will feature the third movement of Berlioz’ Harold in Italy, on the current Edexcel A level syllabus, through which we will look at Programme Music.


Key Stage 1

Monday 6 February 2017, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
Teacher INSET: Thursday 5 January 2017, 10.30am & 4.30pm

Despite being the youngest of a family of mountain goats, Giddy has no head for heights. But when he finds a lost lamb called Edmund on a narrow ledge, he faces a dilemma. Will Giddy manage to overcome his fears and help Edmund? Join the London Philharmonic Orchestra for a musical performance of this heartwarming tale, based on the book by Jamie Rix and Lynne Chapman, set to music by Paul Rissmann.  The concert will include audience participation throughout and projections of the book illustrations on the big screen. Giddy Goat will be supported by other complementary pieces to engage and delight our Key Stage 1 audience.  The concert will be presented by Polly Ives, who will tell the story and guide us through the music.  A hands-on INSET session will take place on 5 January, in which Polly will present ideas and activites for teachers, so they can introduce the story and participatory music to children ahead of the concert.



 A Level seminar

Monday 13 March 2017, 4.30-c.5.45pm, Pimlico Academy

The London Philharmonic Orchestra presents an intimate performance of Vaughan Williams' On Wenlock Edge (Nos. 1, 3 and 5, for piano quintet and tenor, Edexcel set work), alongside on-stage analysis exploring its structure and compositional techniques.  We will also look at the musical and historical context of the work, drawing on Schubert lieder and Beethoven's String Quartet in C Op.59 No.3 (both Edexcel wider listening) to examine the evolution of string and voice writing in the 19th century.

The concert will be presented by composer and teacher Steven Berryman, and will give students of all exam boards a lively insight into 19th and early 20th-century chamber repertoire, as well as offering a particular focus on Edexcel set works.  The event will be a mixture of live music and interactive presentation, alongside an informative slideshow.  Tickets are £5 per student, free for accompanying adults.


Key Stage 2

Tuesday 2 May 2017, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall
Teacher INSET: Monday 6 March, 4.30-6.30pm

Did you know that the LPO travels thousands of miles every year, playing to people around the world? Jump on the tour bus with us and we'll whisk you to some of the amazing places that the Orchestra has visited this year. In this concert we'll be dancing in Hungary, getting caught in the hustle and bustle of New York City and catching the Metro in Paris - all from the Royal Festival Hall stage.

The concert will be presented by Rachel Leach, who will introduce the music including an audience participation song, which schools prepare with their children in advance. A free INSET session for teachers on 6 March will introduce the repertoire, audience participation song and activities to make the most out of each school's concert visit.

BrightSparks is generously supported by Garf & Gill Collins, Mr & Mrs Philip Kan, Julian and Gill Simmonds, the London Marathon LPO team, the Candide Trust, Dunard Fund, the Rivers Foundation and the Spears-Stutz Charitable Trust.