LPO to record anthems for Olympics

The London Philharmonic Orchestra will record 205 national anthems for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, for use in the Team Welcome Ceremonies and Victory Ceremonies.

The Orchestra celebrated winning the contract with an impromptu performance of an anthems medley in front of the Royal Festival Hall on Friday. They were conducted by Olympic triple jump gold medallist Jonathan Edwards, also a board member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, which awarded the contract.

Recording will take place at Abbey Road Studios over six days in May, with final sessions in September. The orchestral arrangements of the anthems will be made by British composer and conductor Philip Sheppard, who commented:
“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."

Sebastian Coe, London 2012 Chair, stated that national anthems are 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.”