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Peter Schickele
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Peter Schickele

Peter Schickele (born July 17, 1935) is a composer and musical parodist. He was born in Ames, Iowa, and graduated with a degree in music from Swarthmore College in 1957. He graduated from the Juilliard School with an M.S. in musical composition.

He has created music for school bands, film (eg Silent Running) and television, choirs, folk singers (Joan Baez, musicals and concert performances. His musical creations have won him multiple awards. He is perhaps best known for his clever parodies of classical music, written under the name of P. D. Q. Bach, for which he has won four Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Perfomance/Album. He hosted the radio program "Schickele Mix" which was broadcast on many public radio stations in the United States.

Besides writing music, Schickele invented instruments. The most complicated is the hardart, which consists of a variety of tone-generating devices mounted on a frame. It is used in the Concerto for Horn and Hardart, a play on the name of proprietors Horn & Hardart;, who pioneered the use of the Automat, a coin-operated food dispenser. He also invented the dill piccolo (for playing sour notes), the left-handed sewer flute, the tromboon, the lasso d'amore and the tuba mirum.

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