Skip to content
By Annalie |

Philharmonia Orchestra comes to town!

Philharmonia Orchestra - people playing double base instruments
The Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali perform ANNA CLYNE Masquerade, JOHN ADAMS (featuring Víkingur Ólafsson on piano) Must the Devil have all the good tunes? Followed after the interval by MAHLER Symphony No. 5 in the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on Thursday 22 Sept. 2022. Photo by Mark Allan

Philharmonia Orchestra brings free performances and virtual reality installations to Bedford in March

  • The Philharmonia Orchestra is Bedford’s resident orchestra – Its home has been at Bedford Corn Exchange since 1995 
  • The Philharmonia performs two concerts at Bedford Corn Exchange this season:
  • Beethoven & Bruch with Nicola Benedetti (12 March) and Beethoven & Mozart with Martin Helmchen (10 May) 
  • The Orchestra brings three days of free activity in March, with pop up performances and installations throughout the Bedford community. 

Over three days in March, the Philharmonia Orchestra will bring pop-up performances and installations to audiences in Bedford. Quintets and trios of Philharmonia players will take music outside of the concert hall, as they meet audiences in a series of locations throughout both the main towns of Bedford and Kempston. The Philharmonia’s activity takes place on Friday 1 March, Saturday 2 March and Saturday 9 March. There will be accompanying VR (virtual reality) activity on Friday 1 and Saturday 9 March. All events are free and open to all. 

On Friday 1 March, they will present Just for You – a day of informal performances at the Harpur Centre. Five Philharmonia musicians present short performances throughout the day – meet the musicians and find out what their instruments can do. They will perform popular pieces, and there will be the opportunity for audiences to get involved in the music-making. Audiences can then try the Philharmonia’s immersive VR installation – put on a headset and experience what it’s like to sit in the middle of a world class orchestra.  

The following day, Saturday 2 March, the Philharmonia will present Music in Unexpected Places. In collaboration with local businesses, three trios of Philharmonia musicians perform short, free concerts across the day. The venues are The Higgins BedfordBedford Central LibraryKempston LibraryDamiano Hair, the Barley Mow pub, The Standard pub, Samsons Academy Gym, Bedford Bus Station and Queens Park Family Hub

The timetable for performances on Saturday 2nd March is below: 

  • 10:30 – Damiano Hair 
  • 11:00 – Bedford Central Library 
  • 13:00 – The Higgins Bedford 
  • 15:30 – The Barley Mow pub 
  • 16:00 – The Standard pub 
  • Time to be confirmed: Bedford Bus Station 

The final day of activity will be Saturday 9 March. A group of Philharmonia musicians will present an Interactive Insight session at St Paul’s Church. The musicians will take the audience on a deep dive into the music of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, which the Orchestra then performs the following Tuesday (12 March) in concert at Bedford Corn Exchange. Audiences will learn about the motifs and structure of the piece in an immersive session of learning. After the Interactive Insight, audiences can again try the Philharmonia’s VR headsets and experience the music of Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Vaughan Williams from centre-stage. 

Tom Wootton, elected Mayor of Bedford Borough, said, “We are thrilled that the Philharmonia Orchestra will be bringing world-class music to unexpected places. This initiative not only enriches our cultural landscape but also fosters community engagement.

“Bedford Borough Council is proud to facilitate such vibrant and accessible cultural experiences for our residents.”

This project has received £20,000 from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. 

More Articles

All News