Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen carries the Olympic flame

I felt it necessary to get into the Olympic spirit today, which is why I’m highlighting this classical music Olympic news story. The Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen had the honour of carrying the torch this morning in central London.  The Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of London’s Philarmonia Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Los Angles Philharmonic Orchestra, was torchbearer number 40 in the 2012 Torch Relay.

Salonen was given the flame at 9.40am and ran some 300 metres through the City of London, starting on St Martin’s Le-Grand, then continuing along Cheapside  finishing on Gresham Street, before handing the flame over to the next torchbearer. Salonen was one of 8000 Olympic torch bearers and the Olympic flame has travelled nearly 13,000 kilometres around the world in the last few months.

‘It says something about the basic joy of the Olympic spirit,’ said Salonen. ‘The nice and rather overwhelming thing was to see all those people in the street and the general happiness, and I thought that was something you don’t see that often these days. For all of us in our group, that was the most powerful experience of this thing’.

Let’s hope that either the opening or closing ceremonies contain a smattering of classical music or failing that at least illustrate the huge amount of musical talent the UK has to offer.


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

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