HomeLife StylePeter Schickele, Composer and Gleeful Sire of P.D.Q. Bach, Dies at 88

Peter Schickele, Composer and Gleeful Sire of P.D.Q. Bach, Dies at 88


He earned his fifth Grammy, for best classical crossover album, for “Hornsmoke,” which includes his serious compositions “Horse Opera for Brass Quintet,” Piano Concerto No. 2 and other pieces.

Mr. Schickele’s classical recordings also include Quartet No. 1, “American Dreams,” by the Audubon Quartet; “Schickele on a Lark,” by the Lark Quartet; and “The American Chamber Ensemble Plays Peter Schickele.”

He wrote the score for the 1972 science-fiction film “Silent Running,” starring Bruce Dern. With Robert Dennis and Stanley Walden, he also contributed songs to the Broadway revue “Oh! Calcutta!”

Mr. Schickele and his wife, who survives him, split their time between homes on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Bearsville. In addition to her and their daughter, Karla, he is survived by a son, Matthew, and two grandsons.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Schickele, weary of the road and also, ever so slightly, of P.D.Q. Bach, took a long sabbatical, focusing on his new radio show, “Schickele Mix.” Syndicated nationally for some 15 years, it featured him in serious discussions of music, combined with the playing of works by composers as diverse as Chopin, Gershwin and Philip Glass.

In the 21st century, with the radio show having run its course, Mr. Schickele revived P.D.Q. In 2015, he held a gala 50th-anniversary concert in Town Hall.



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