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Art Competitions at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games:

Mixed Music, Compositions For Solo Or Chorus

Art Competitions at the 1936 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games


Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Exhibition Area Hall VI, Kaiserdamm, Berlin
Date Started: August 1, 1936
Date Finished: August 16, 1936

Gold: GER Paul Höffer
Silver: GER Kurt Thomas
Bronze: GER Harald Genzmer


There were just eight entries in this event, of which the three German ones were each awarded with a medal. This might seem unsurprising, given that the nine-strong jury contained no less than seven Germans, but it had been decided that their combined vote would be counted as one. While the winner of the CompOsitions for Orchestra, [Werner Egk] was favored by the Nazi government, the Solo/Chorus victor was [Paul Höffer], who had been derisively described as a )Cultural Bolshevist). However, his choral work, Olympischer Schwur (Olympic Oath), might have had an edge with the jury, as the lyrics had been provided by [Pierre, Baron de Coubertin], president of the IOC (and himself winner of an Olympic art medal in 1912). It is unknown whether this information was known to the jury at the time.

A novelty in Olympic music contests was that the winning works were performed live during the Olympics. During a concert on 15 August at the Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne (part of the Olympic complex), both Höffer's winning entry and [Kurt Thomas]' Kantate zur Olympiade 1936 were played by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert had been opened with a version of the Olympic Hymn by Richard Strauss. 20,000 spectators attended the concert.

View a Phase of this EventFinal Standings

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal Title
1 Paul Höffer 40 Germany GER Gold Olympischer Schwur
2 Kurt Thomas 32 Germany GER Silver Kantate zur Olympiade 1936
3 Harald Genzmer 27 Germany GER Bronze Der Läufer