“Faster, Higher, Stronger”: Olympic Music and Art


Close-up of a sixth-century BC amphora from the State Antiquities Collection in Munich | Image source: ArchaiOptix

When the 2024 Summer Olympics take place in Paris this month and next month, July 26 – August 11the Gold Medal for Symphonic Works will be awarded to…

Nonsense, you say. There is no such thing. Alas, it’s not 2024, but Olympic art competitions were real a century ago – such as the 1924 Paris Olympics. This was part of the original intention of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics. today, Cultural Olympiad Still there, just no medals (see more below).

“Everyone I talk to is surprised,” says Richard Stanton, author of The Forgotten Olympic Art Competitionwhen being interviewed Smithsonian Institution Magazine. “The first time I knew about it was reading a history book, and I saw some comments about the Olympiad art competition, and I just said, ‘What competition?'” Stanton went on to write the first English-language book on the subject. Book.

Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Olympic Games and won an Olympic literary gold medal under a pseudonym in 1912

exist Ancient Greece, arts and sports are considered complementary practices. Coubertin believed that art is crucial in the modern Olympics. He believed that true Olympians displayed not only athletic ability but also artistic skills.

those years Art competition judgingFrom 1912 to 1948, a total of 151 medals were awarded to original Artwork inspired by sports. There are five main categories: architecture, literature, music, painting and sculpture.

Examples of Music Gold Awards:

In remix music, Riccardo Barthelemy Triumphal March (1912 Stockholm match) and George Monnier’s Olympic (1920, Antwerp)

In orchestral composition, Werner Egk Olympic festive music (1936, Berlin) and Zbigniew Tursky Olympic Symphony (1948, London)

In solo and choral works Paul Höffer olympic oath (Berlin, 1936)

In 1954, medal-winning art juried competitions were eliminated because artists were considered professionals, while Olympic athletes were required to be amateurs—at least on paper. Since 1956, cultural programs have replaced juried competitions.

This year, the Paris Olympics will include a broad cultural program that combines arts and sports. The Cultural Olympiad, which runs until the Paralympics following the Olympics, will host hundreds of free events from July to September in all French territories.

The program encourages participation by artists and organizations from a variety of disciplines, including architecture, music, dance, film, culinary arts, street art, digital art, visual arts, comics, multidisciplinary arts and sciences.

As a perfect combination of art and sport, breakdancing, the first dance sport in the history of the Summer Olympics, will make its debut at this summer’s Olympics.

Television coverage of the Olympics (but not the Cultural Olympiads) will be broadcast on NBC in the US – with at least nine hours of daytime coverage each day. The network will also offer “three hours of enhanced prime-time programming each night.”

nbc Peacock The platform promises to live stream every sport and event throughout the Games, a first for a streaming service at the Summer Games.



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