Peter Schickele (1935-2024)

Peter Schickele in Milwaukee
Peter Schickele in Milwaukee, February 24, 1981. Public domain, via Wikipedia

The RBML notes with sadness the passing of composer, music educator, and satirist Peter Schickele (1935-2024). He was a well-regarded composer in his own right, but was best known for his comedy pieces composed by the fictional P.D.Q. Bach, the “only forgotten son” of Johann Sebastian Bach.

A brilliant musical magpie, Schickele’s long-running and elaborate sendup of classical music traditions combined wit and deep musicological knowledge to entertain live and radio audiences for decades. From 1990 to 1993, his P.D.Q. Bach recordings earned him four consecutive wins for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.

The New York Times published an extensive obituary [login required] that provides much more information about his life and career.

We are proud to steward Schickele’s papers, which will surely be of interest to future generations of composers, performers, broadcasters, and many others.

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