Works Chorus & Orchestra Olympic Hymn (1981)
In 1981, Leonard Bernstein wrote Olympic Hymn, with text by Günter Kunert, for the International Olympic Congress in Baden-Baden. This was a significant meeting of the Congress because the boycotted Moscow games were only a year prior, and the Los Angeles games were only a few years away. It seemed as though the sustainability of the Olympic Games were at stake. Bernstein's hymn opened the Congress on September 23, with the Baden-Baden Youth Choir and the Südwestfunk Orchester, David Shallon, conducting. Speakers included Pope John Paul II, UN General Secretary Kurt Waldheim and Prince Philip of the United Kingdom. Nobel Peace Prize winner Lord Phillip Noel-Baker was the guest of honor.
John Williams recorded the Olympic Hymn for the first time in 1996 on the Sony Classical album "Summon the Heroes" with the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.