London 2012: Olympic closing ceremony led by British music

Closing ceremony creative team (left to right) Music Director David Arnold, Designer Es Devlin, Artistic director Kim Gavin and Lighting Designer Patrick Woodroffe
Image caption Closing ceremony creative team (l to r) David Arnold, Es Devlin, Kim Gavin and Patrick Woodroffe

Crowd-pleasing British music will be at the centre of the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games on 12 August.

The show called 'A Symphony of British Music' will involve established British acts and new talent, said creative director and choreographer Kim Gavin.

The London Symphony Orchestra will record the core orchestral soundtracks for the opening and closing ceremonies.

Games chiefs will have less than 24 hours to set the stage for the ceremony after the end of the athletics action.

Apart from a glut of victory ceremonies on the evening of 11 August, the final two events in the Olympic Stadium are the finals of the women's 4x400m relay and the women's high jump.

The session is scheduled to finish at 21:30 BST with the pre-show for spectators in the Stadium starting at around 20:00 BST the following day. The worldwide broadcast of the ceremony will get under way at 21:00 BST with the aim to finish by 23:45 BST.

Mr Gavin added: "Music has been Britain's strongest cultural export of the last 50 years and we intend to produce an Olympic closing ceremony that will be a unique promotion of great British popular music.

"For the closing ceremony we will not only be working with our most globally successful musicians, but we also want to use this opportunity to showcase our stars of tomorrow."

Mr Gavin, who was behind Take That's successful comeback shows, and his creative team have been at the Olympic Stadium this week testing the lighting for the ceremonies.

The line-up includes designer Es Devlin, music director David Arnold and lighting director Patrick Woodroffe alongside executive producer Stephen Daldry.

The names of artists playing on the night have not yet been revealed but London 2012 organisers Locog said the 4,100 performers at the ceremony would include 3,500 adult volunteers and 380 schoolchildren from the six Olympic host boroughs.

The 10,500 athletes who have competed in the Games will also be in attendance while an expected worldwide television audience of around 750m people will watch.

One group who will not be at the Olympic Stadium is Blur, who will be playing at the closing ceremony celebrations in London's Hyde Park.

The London Symphony Orchestra's managing director Kathryn McDowell said they were very happy to be involved.

"We are honoured and delighted to be the orchestra of the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies," she said.

"The LSO aims to make great music available to everyone and the Olympic and Paralympic opportunity will reach people of all ages across the world. The experience of world sport and music brings people of all nationalities and backgrounds together with a common purpose."

Locog chairman Seb Coe said: "The London 2012 ceremonies are an opportunity to promote the UK's world-leading culture and creative industries to over four billion people around the world.

"We're delighted that one of Britain's world-leading orchestras will be recording the orchestral music for the shows."

Details for the Olympics opening ceremony were announced last month on the day marking six months to go to the start of the Games. Director Danny Boyle's 'Isles of Wonder' ceremony was inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest.

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