Werner Mayer

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
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

Biography

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 Festive Music for the Olympiad. 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.

Results

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