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Olympic medalist
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Werner Egk
Medal record
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Gold 1936 Berlin Orchestra

Werner Egk (17 May 1901 – 10 July 1983), originally Werner Mayer, was a German composer.

He was born in Auchsesheim, today part of Donauwörth (Germany), and died in Inning.

Egk studied under Carl Orff in Munich. When radio broadcasting became available to the public, Egk immediately realised its importance as a mass medium and developed operas and radio plays.

At the beginning of the 1930s, Egk turned his interest towards ballet and opera. In 1935, he premiered his first opera Die Zaubergeige (The magic violin) in Frankfurt am Main. His opera Peer Gynt is based on Henrik Ibsen's play.

During the Nazi regime, he worked in the Reichsmusikkammer, which was held against him after the war, though generally only briefly, as that work was a necessity for Egk to save and continue his work.

His "big" career began after the war. In Germany, Egk has been dubbed "Komponist des Wiederaufbaus" ("composer of reconstruction" [after World War II]). Besides being a conductor and composer, he was head of the Berlin Musikhochschule (1950-1952) and important figure of the GEMA since 1950; he was also the first German president of the CISAC.

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