Werner Mayer

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Competed in Olympic Games (non-medal events)
Full nameWerner Joseph•Mayer (-Egk)
Used nameWerner•Mayer
Other namesWerner Egk
Born17 May 1901 in Auchsesheim, Donauwörth, Bayern (GER)
Died10 July 1983 in Inning am Ammersee, Bayern (GER)
NOC Germany


Werner Egk was the pseudonym of Joseph Werner Mayer and was composed of the initials of his wife, the violinist Elisabeth Karl. The name “Egk” was legalized in 1937. He represented the styles of Neo-Classicism and Modern Music Theater. From 1936-40 he was Kapellmeister at the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, and until 1945 worked as a freelance composer. At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, he received an Olympic gold medal in the category “Compositions for Orchestra” for his work Olympic Festival Music. The submitted work was actually a ballet music for the festival Olympic Youth (also called Victory of the Youth) by Carl Diem composed in 1936. It consisted of four parts: I Entry of the Youth, II Weapons Dance, III Lamentation of the Dead, IV Hymn (Battle of the Forces, Battle of the Hands) with a total length of approximately 24 minutes. The premiere was on 1 August 1936, played by an augmented Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer himself. The choreography of the scenic performance was designed by famous German dancers Mary Wigman, Gret Palucca and Harald Kreutzberg.

In 1939 the Nazi dictatorship awarded him a music award handed over by Reichspropagandaminister Joseph Goebbels. After World War II, Egk fought in court against his supposed “sympathy” with the Third Reich, but he never recovered from the accusation of his “inaction”. From 1950-53 Egk was Head of the School of Music in Berlin-Charlottenburg, and from 1969-71 was President of the German Music Council. His most important works were Peer Gynt, Circe and The Revisor.

In 1952, Werner Egk submitted Allegria for the Helsinki exhibition, a suite for large orchestra in four movements called Lento-Allegro, Allegro, Lento, and Allegro. The four parts are also titled Overture, March, Aria, and Finale. Allegria (Italian for cheerfullness) bears the subtitle Godimento in quattro tempi (Pleasures in four tempi). The work, which was just over 20 minutes long, was commissioned by the German radio station Südwestfunk Baden-Baden in 1952, and adapted as a ballet the following year.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Art Competitions GER Werner Egk
Music, Compositions For Orchestra, Open (Olympic) 1 Gold
1952 Summer Olympics Art Competitions GER Werner Egk
Music, Compositions For Orchestra, Open (Olympic (non-medal)) AC