Sunday, December 20, 2015

P.D.Q. Bach's golden year

The American composer and musical comedian Peter Schickele, who turned 80 this year, celebrates the 50th anniversary of his (in)famous P.D.Q. Bach concerts in New York with concerts on Dec. 28-29 at Town Hall.

“[S]o beloved is Mr. Schickele among musicians,” The New York Times’ James R. Oestreich reports, that to recruit his New York Pick-Up Ensemble of 35 players, “he needed to make only 36 phone calls.”

Schickele’s comic alter ego continues to produce unheard(-of) works, including a concerto for pianist Jeffrey Biegel, Oestreich writes. “[A]s Mr. Schickele pointed out, P. D. Q. is the only dead composer who still accepts commissions.”