Musician, comedian and satirist Peter Schickele dead at 88

 January 20, 2024

The music and comedy world lost a legend this week.

According to ClassicFM, musician, comedian and satirist Peter Schickele has died at 88. He was known as "PDQ Bach" on the music scene, and had a large following.

The New York Times described his career "as a writer of serious concert music was often eclipsed by that of his antic alter ego, the thoroughly debauched, terrifyingly prolific and mercifully fictional P.D.Q. Bach [1807–1742?]."

Schickele devoted himself to the role of PDQ Bach for 50 years, the report noted. He was known for his "wacky to downright bizarre" musical instrument selection.

ClassicFM noted:

P.D.Q. Bach’s works were performed, recorded and released by their creator. From 1990 to 1993, Shickele’s P.D.Q. Bach recordings won four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album. For many years, Schickele also hosted popular music education radio shows in the US.

The outlet described his play style, writing, "Within his satire, Schickele guides you through the instruments of the orchestra, different symphonic terms, as well as the intricacies of sonata form and the structure of Beethoven’s masterpiece."

He was known for having the unique ability to entertain, educate and inspire his audiences with his quirky style.

Given his incredible popularity of how he presented his music, Schickele was remembered by scores of fans and entertainers across social media.

"RIP Peter Schickele, talented composer who lived two lives - one under his own name and the other under PDQ Bach - here he is with a performance of Beethoven Symphony No. 5," one X user wrote

Another X user wrote, "Oh man, the Turtle Mountain Naval Base Tactical Wind Ensemble is going to play a PDQ Bach dirge in his honor. RIP, Peter Schickele, you mad genius."

Many of his fans pointed to specific performances that left a lasting impact on them.

"Oedipus Tex will forever be one of my favorite pieces of art, brilliant and hilarious. RIP to the incomparable Peter Schickele," one X user wrote.

Clearly, he left a lasting and positive impact on his friends and family around the world.