Biography

Peter Schickele is a renowned American composer. Inspired by the music of Spike Jones, as a young teenager, he also studied composition and music history at Juilliard. After graduating from Juilliard he asked himself what in the world he was going to do with a PhD in music history, and proceeded to rewrite it (history, that is) by discovering works by Johann Sebastian Bach's heretofore unknown 21st child, "last and by far the least", "a pimple on the face of music", P.D.Q. Bach. PDQ's music had its first public performance in 1965, and lectures by "Professor Schickele" (of the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, or "U of SND at H" for short) have delighted audiences ever since. Although the first ten PDQ Bach albums on Vanguard hold his most inspired work, only his latest five albums (on Telarc) have earned him proper recognition, with four of the five winning Grammy Awards in comedy. In 1993 he stopped touring with PDQ Bach to devote himself more fully to 'real' composing (which he's done all along, in spite of the spectre of PDQ Bach which often resulted in even his most serious work eliciting laughter) and his radio show "Schickele Mix". His weekly show (of which there have been nearly 100) features an eclectic mix of music from many cultures and centuries; he's perfectly happy to illustrate a musical point using a "suite" that combines music of seeming opposites: Bach and the Beatles; Heavy Metal bands and Classical string quartets. You can find him on the radio or in New York City every week after Christmas performing P.D.Q. Bach at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center.