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Peter Schickele

Peter Schickele

P. D. Q. Bach is a fictional composer invented by the American musical satirist Peter Schickele, who developed a five-decade-long career performing the "discovered" works of the "only forgotten son" of the Bach family. Schickele's music combines parodies of musicological scholarship, the conventions of Baroque and Classical music, and slapstick comedy. The name "P. D. Q." is a parody of the three-part names given to some members of the Bach family that are commonly reduced to initials, such as C. P. E., for Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach; PDQ is an initialism for "pretty damned quick". Schickele began working on the character while studying at the Aspen Music Festival and School and Juilliard, and has performed a variety of P. D. Q. Bach shows over the years. The Village Voice mentions the juxtaposition of collage, bitonality, musical satire, and orchestral surrealism in a "bizarre melodic stream of consciousness [...] In P.D.Q. Bach he has single-handedly mapped a musical universe that everyone knew was there and no one else had the guts (not simply the bad taste) to explore."As of 2012 he had decreased touring due to age. He performed two concerts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first concert at The Town Hall in New York on December 28 and 29, 2015, and continues to give live concert performances.
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