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London Philharmonic Orchestra to record Olympic anthems

It’s just over fifteen months until the eyes of the world will be on London as its plays host to the 2012 Olympic Games. And it won’t just be the athletes who come under intense scrutiny from eager spectators.
Music plays an important role in creating and sustaining the mood at sporting events, with this set to be no exception. The London Philharmonic Orchestra will record 205 national anthems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, for use in the team welcome ceremonies and victory ceremonies.
Following being awarded the contract for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the orchestra celebrated with an impromptu performance of anthems in front of the Royal Festival Hall with a difference.
Adding a little sporting pedigree to the event, Olympic triple jump gold medallist Jonathan Edwards, also a board member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, conducted the orchestra.
Composer, conductor and cellist Philip Sheppard will replace Edwards for the recording of the national anthems, which will take place at Abbey Road Studios.
The famed recording studios, which have played host to bands such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Coldplay, will be used over six days in May, with final sessions in September.
“It was a thrill to devise a new version of the UK anthem for the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony and I only hope we’ll hear our own National Anthem at numerous medal ceremonies,” Mr Sheppard said.
London 2012 Chair Sebastian Coe, stressed the importance of the orchestra’s job, describing them as a “key element” of the Olympics ceremonies.
“The playing of anthems at Victory Ceremonies is one of the most emotive parts of any Games and it was an incredible moment for me at the Moscow and Los Angeles Games,” Lord Coe said.

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