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Unheard Athens Ceremonies Music In Beijing


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This has been and gone, but just reading round the net I read an article about a New Zealand Symphony Orchestra tour taking in the Olympic Cultural Festival in Beijing.

They were there to perform *Olympiad XXV111*, composed by Kiwi composer John Psathas - who composed and arranged a number of pieces during the Athens 2004 Ceremonies.

This piece is based on that music used in 2004, and also includes other pieces of music written for Athens, but not used.

The New Zealand Symhony Orchestra are to perform two concerts this week at the Olympic Cultural Festival as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. On 27 August, the NZSO with music director Pietari Inkinen will perform the world premiere of Olympiad XXVIII at the Forbidden City Concert Hall.

The NZSO commissioned Psathas to compose and arrange the new symphonic suite based on the music he prepared for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. This new work is dedicated to George Koumendakis, musical director of the 2004 Athens Olympics, who supervised the development of Psathas’ scores for the opening and closing ceremonies of those games.

In an interview with Eva Radich on Radio New Zealand’s Upbeat programme, Psathas commented that Olympiad XXVIII contains some music that he composed for the 2004 Olympics, but was never used as part of the ceremonies. For the 2004 Olympic ceremonies, he had a seemingly unlimited instrumentation at his disposal, including an unusually large number of brass and percussion. Psathas has noted that while it was a great opportunity to have such a large range of instruments available, not all of the music suits subsequent live performance. He is pleased to have the opportunity to bring the music into a more standard orchestral setting with Olympiad XXVIII.

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