Peter Schickele

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Biography

17 July 1935, Ames, Iowa, USA. Peter Schickele was a composer and humorist who, although he also wrote serious classical music, gained popularity through his satirical compositions recorded as the fictitious character P.D.Q. Bach. Schickele and his family moved to Washington, DC, when he was eight years old and there he became exposed to the satirical jazz of Spike Jones. At the age of 12, Schickele moved to North Dakota where he became involved in theatre, learnt to play the bassoon and studied classical music. He became a classical composer while attending college in New York, where he settled in his 20s. He also discovered jazz, folk and rock music while at school, styles on which he would later draw in his composing. Schickele developed the concept of P.D.Q. Bach in 1953. While experimenting with a primitive tape recorder, he taped the first movement of Bach’s second Brandenburg Concerto, performing all of the wind parts on bassoon. Inspired by one of...

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