Werner Egk

Werner Egk (born May 17, 1901 in Auchsesheim near Donauwörth Germany; died July 10, 1983, Inning), originally Werner Mayer, was a German composer.

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

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1936 Geigenmusik mit Orchester 4.00 stars LP
Geigenmusik mit Orchester Comments:
Bayerische Rundfunk Orchester cond. Werner Egk
1945 La Tentation de Saint-Antoine 4.0 stars LP
La Tentation de Saint-Antoine Comments:
Cantata on 18th century verses and melodies.

Janet Baker - Contra Alto
Koeckert String Quartet
Bayerische Rundfunk Orchester cond. Werner Egk

1948 Abraxsas Ballet 3.0 stars CD
Abraxsas Comments:
Ballet based on story by Heinrich Heine

Landeskapelle Eisenach cond. Mark Mast

1953 Die chinesische Nachtigall 4.00 stars LP
Die chinesische Nachtigall Comments:
Ballet music, based on the Andersen tale.

Wanda Wilkomirska - Violin
Bayerische Rundfunk Orchester cond. Werner Egk