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French composer’s music part of Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies

Rudi Sordes, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from France, wrote music for a 3 1/2-minute section of the opening ceremonies for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. Credit: Sylvie Brouillet via The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Credit: Jeff Roberson, Associated Press
Fireworks go off during the start of the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Credit: David J. Phillip, Associated Press
Rudi Sordes, standing, and director Long Jiangbo while filming a short film in December 2019. The two collaborated on part of the opening ceremonies of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Credit: Sylvie Brouillet via The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Remember at the beginning of the opening ceremonies of the 2022 Winter Olympics, there was a 3 1/2-minute countdown of 24 traditional Chinese seasons?

The music for that sequence was written by Rudi Sordes, a Latter-day Saint from France. 

Sordes, 55, an engineer, had previously collaborated with Chinese filmmaker Long Jiangbo, and the pair had collaborated on two films, according to France Newsroom.

For several months prior to the Olympics, Sordes collaborated with Long, under the direction of opening ceremonies creator Zhang Yimou. 

Part of the music included Sordes singing with his daughter Emma. 

Music has been part of his life since he was young. Sordes learned to play the piano and wrote his first song at 13 years old. He continued playing and composing, later taking organ lessons when he was 40. In 2001, his songs and film scores began to be broadcast on French television, according to France Newsroom.

He had Olympic aspirations when he was 20 and competed in track at university. He considered the 200-meter race to be his best event. His personal best time was in a race when he took second, and ultimately, it was not a path to the Olympics.

He went on to be an entrepreneur, software architect and aeronautical consultant. The father of seven has also served as a Church leader.

Piano Guys 

Music from other Latter-day Saint fathers was played during Olympic competitions. In ice dancing, Chinese duo Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu skated their free dance to “Kung Fu Piano: Cello Ascends” by the Piano Guys.
The Piano Guys is composed of pianist Jon Schmidt, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson, videographer/producer Paul Anderson and music producer/songwriter Al van der Beek.

Nelson shared his reaction on social media.

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