BrightSparks concerts

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 concerts 2017/18

Key Stage 2: Tuesday 5 June 2018, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall – apply for tickets
Key Stage 1: Wednesday 18 October 2017, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall – date passed
A Level seminar:Wed 24 January 2018, 5.00pm–c.6.15pm, Dunraven School SW16 2QB – date passed
GCSE: Monday 5 March 2018, 11.30am–c.12.45pm, Royal Festival Hall – date passed

Key Stage 2: Petrushka

Tuesday 5 June, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall

One of Igor Stravinsky's most famous ballet scores, Petrushka conjures up a glittering folk world of magic and drama. At a bustling Russian fair we meet quarrelling puppets and a talented ballerina - all part of a captivating and mysterious tale, brought to life through Stravinsky's glorious music, alongside specially-commissioned projected animations.

Presenter Rachel Leach will guide us through the story and the music, and lead our audience participation song all about a legendary fairground.

A free teacher INSET session will take place on Wed 25 April at 4.30–6.30pm (must be booked in advance), and accompanying resources, including the song, will be available for all teachers who book tickets for the concert.

Tickets are priced at £4 per student, with accompanying teachers free of charge.

Apply for tickets




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Past concerts

Key Stage 1: The Gruffalo's Child

Wednesday 18 October, 10.30am & 12.30pm, Royal Festival Hall - SOLD OUT

"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 Level seminar

Wednesday 24 January 2018, 5.00–c.6.15pm, Dunraven School, SW16 2QB
The London Philharmonic Orchestra's 2018 A Level seminar will feature chamber performances, presentation and discussion of a variety of set works and related repertoire. The seminar will include a complete performance of Vivaldi Concerto in D minor, Op. 3 No. 11 (Edexcel set work), along with extracts from J.S. Bach's Violin Concerto in A minor (AQA), through which we will discuss features of Baroque style. The second part of the seminar will invite students to test their knowledge of compositional styles and periods by identifying key features of unfamiliar live excerpts. This repertoire will touch on elements relevant to the following topics: 

• AQA: Western classical tradition 1650-1910 / Art music since 1910

• Edexcel: New directions / Fusions  

• OCR: Instrumental music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven / Innovation in Music 1900 to the present dayThe seminar will be presented by composer and animateur John Webb, who will discuss musical analysis and structure, and invite discussion from the audience, with a chamber ensemble from the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  The event lasts approx 75 minutes (no interval) and will be a mixture of live music and interactive presentation, alongside an informative slideshow.  Tickets cost £5 per student, free for accompanying teachers.


GCSE: Scene and Heard 

Monday 5 March 2018, 11.30–c.12.45, Royal Festival Hall
Join the London Philharmonic Orchestra for our GCSE BrightSparks concert this coming March, which this year focuses on music as a storytelling tool alongside other genres, specifically film and dance.Featured in the syllabuses of all the major exam boards this year, we will explore features of film music through the world of the orchestra – from music composed specifically for soundtracks (including Star Wars theme by John Williams, Edexcel set work), to existing orchestral repertoire used by directors in their movies (OCR syllabus). On the dance side, we will hear Saturday Night Waltz and Hoedown from Aaron Copland’s ballet Rodeo (AQA set work) as well as other complementary repertoire.

A Level teachers may also be interested in bringing their students to the concert, as it will feature extracts from Psycho Suite by Bernard Herrmann (Edexcel A Level set work, also useful for general film music study).  The GCSE BrightSparks concert will feature on-stage analysis of the music from presenter Rachel Leach. 

Accompanying resources for the concert will be made available to all teachers who book tickets.


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