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Orchestre Démos Lyon Métropole

In September 2017, the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon and a large number of social, artistic and educational partners embarked on the DÉMOS project and formed the Orchestre Démos Lyon Métropole.

Over a period of three years, 120 children from the Lyon Metropolitan Area learned to play a musical instrument so that they could form an orchestra.

The Démos project (a socially-oriented musical and orchestral outreach programme) was launched in 2010 by the Philharmonie de Paris in the Paris region. Ten years later, some 40 orchestras across France are providing training in classical music for several thousand children living in underprivileged urban areas or in rural areas situated a long way from major cultural facilities. Over and above the extraordinary human adventure bound up in each three-year session, when the children learn to play an instrument and perform in an orchestra, the Démos project has a host of knock-on benefits not only for the children and their families but also for the partners and professionals involved.


By underscoring the key role that music can and must play in society, Démos addresses a range of issues, including regional development, social integration, artistic education and access to culture. The project is based on a strong educational partnership between social workers and professional artists (musicians, choral conductors and dancers). They combine their skills to form a complementary educational leadership tailored to the task, serving children and their musical education.

The Démos teaching method is underpinned by a multifaceted approach to music. The underlying principles are singing, dancing and speaking. Each child in the Orchestre Démos Lyon Métropole is lent an instrument of his/her choice, free of charge. The children rehearse in small groups for three and a half hours a week, mainly outside school hours, in the social organisation they usually attend. All of the children in the orchestra come together every six weeks to work with the orchestra’s conductor. Music contributes to young people’s personal development, which in turn improves their ability to concentrate, listen and get along with other people: all strengths that extend beyond the framework of the project and have a strong impact on their social, family and school life.

Over the course of the three years, various activities supplement and reinforce the music lessons: the children visit cultural sites, meet musicians and instrument makers, and go to concerts at the Auditorium with their family...

At the end of each year, the children in the Orchestre Démos give a free concert in the Lyon Auditorium, which their families and all of the partners are welcome to attend. At the end of the three-year cycle, the children perform on the prestigious stage of the Philharmonie de Paris concert hall.

L’Orchestre Démos Lyon Métropole > session 1 (2017-2020)

5 municipalities, 120 children, 3 years

The first Orchestre Démos Lyon Métropole was made up of eight groups of children from the municipalities of Bron, Décines, Givors, Lyon and Vaulx-en-Velin. In addition to the rehearsals held in the Lyon Auditorium, the children were given the opportunity to rehearse in partner venues: the Toboggan in Décines-Charpieu, Pôle-en-scène in Bron, the Louis-Pergaud school in Lyon 8, the Maison pour tous – Salle des Rancy in Lyon 3, the Centre culturel Charlie-Chaplin, the École des arts in Vaulx-en-Velin, the Conservatoire de Lyon (a regional conservatory, the Maison du fleuve Rhône in Givors and the Maison de la danse in Lyon 8.

In June 2020, to mark the end of their three years of work, the children and their conductor, Maxime Tortelier, would normally have performed on the prestigious stage of the Philharmonie de Paris. The health crisis unfortunately prevented the concert from taking place, but it might be held this autumn.

Children who wanted to continue learning music after the three-year session were able to keep their instrument and will receive lessons as part of their new individual learning track.

the concert


The Orchestre Démos Lyon Métropole is grateful for the kind support received from its many regional partners and stakeholders, who enable the program’s deployment and success.

The involvement and financial support of the following partners have also enabled the program to be implemented: the French State (the Ministries of Culture, Territorial Cohesion – through the CGET, and Overseas Territories), the European Union, APSV, CAF du Rhône, Métropole de Lyon, the Cities of Bron, Décines-Charpieu, Givors, Lyon, Vaulx-en-Velin, Fondation contre le racisme de Lilian Thuram, Mécénat musical Société générale (the founding sponsor), Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso, Fondation Total (primary sponsors), Bpifrance (major ambassador sponsor), Fondation SNCF (major historical sponsor) and Fondation philharmonique/Cercle des mécènes de l’Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon.

To find out more about the Démos project :


Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon

04 78 95 95 95
149 rue Garibaldi
69003 Lyon

L’Auditorium et l’Orchestre national de Lyon : la musique au cœur de la cité. 160 concerts par saison : concerts symphoniques, récitals, ciné-concerts, jeune public, jazz, musiques actuelles et musiques du monde, mais aussi ateliers, conférences, afterworks…