The Romanian-born Mayer grew up in Israel. He attended from 1958 to 1964 the Conservatory of Tel Aviv and studied until 1968 at the Rubin Academy of Music at the University of Tel Aviv in Oedoen Partos and Gary Bertini. From 1964 to 1970 he was Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Israel.
In 1968 he received a scholarship and studied Damrosch to 1970 at the Juilliard School of Music conducting with Jean Morel and viola with Walter Trampler. In addition, he conducted the New York Youth Symphony, performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and was first violist of the American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, who in 1970 offered him an assistantship.
Mayer decided to go to Canada and in 1970 the first violist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. In 1971, the second prize at the International Viola Competition in Munich and in the following year a prize at the International Music Competition in Geneva. From 1974 to 1976 he was musical director of the University Philharmonia and the Contemporary Directions Ensemble of the University of Michigan. He then returned as first violist for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, whose assistant he became conductor in 1980.
During this time he taught conducting at McGill University and director of the University Symphony Orchestra, with whom he recorded recordings of works by Donald Steven, Brian Cherney and John Rea. In 1977 he won the Audience Prize at the International Conducting Competition in Budapest, two years later, the silver medal at Fitelberg Competition in Poland.
From 1981 to 1995 Mayer was musical director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, with whom he released numerous recordings for the CBC, including with works by Malcolm Forsyth and Oskar Morawetz. He was also musical director of the 1986-88 Rice University in Houston and Orchestra 1988-1994 Principal Conductor of Orchestra London Canada.
From 1991 to 1999 he served as artistic director of the Israel Sinfonietta, 1994-2000 Principal Conductor of the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra in Osaka. At the same time he conducted regularly as a guest conductor until 2003 for the National Ballet of Canada.
- Born in 1946