The project targets the South West of the UK, where in some areas over a third of children do not learn an instrument


London’s Philharmonia Orchestra has responded to the results of a YouGov survey with the launch of its new iOrchestra project this month. Although the survey found that, on the whole, today’s youngsters enjoy greater instrumental learning opportunities than their parents and grandparents, the research also demonstrated that in some areas of the South West of the UK over a third of children did not learn a musical instrument.

The Philharmonia has therefore joined with arts and education providers in Plymouth, Torbay and Cornwall to launch a programme of digital music activity in all three areas from April to July. The programme, called iOrchestra, which has been funded by Arts Council England, takes place over two years and is designed to use interactive digital installations and technologies ‘to ignite enthusiasm and participation in classical music among new audiences’.

iOrchestra consists of three main strands: RE-RITE, a large-scale walk-through experience based on Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring; MusicLab, a new pop-up installation, which offers a series of hands-on musical games and interactions, designed to put the visitor in the shoes of a composer, performer and producer; and free open-air concerts given by the Philharmonia Orchestra on the final day of each RE-RITE installation in Plymouth (11 May), Torbay (8 June) and Truro (13 July).

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