Peter Schickele and his alter ego,
P.D.Q. Bach

P.D.Q. Bach-The Vegas Years: Peter Schickele and the Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra

February 3, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Composer, musician, author, and satirist Peter Schickele will join the Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra to present “P.D.Q. Bach: The Vegas Years” on Friday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. in Illinois State University’s Braden Auditorium.

Schickele is renowned for his discovery and promotion of the works of P.D.Q. Bach, purportedly the last and oddest of J.S. Bach’s twenty-odd children and Schickele’s quirky alter ego. Schickele will present selections from P.D.Q.’s dramatic oratorio, Oedipus Tex, and from The Art of the Ground Round.

Tickets are $30 for the general public and $15 for Illinois State or Illinois Wesleyan students with valid IDs. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or the Braden Box Office at (309) 438-5444. Braden Box Office hours are Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Braden Box Office is closed on Sunday except during Sunday performances when it is open from noon to intermission. Braden Auditorium is located at 100 North University St. in Normal.

In addition to the concert, Schickele will present a free, public lecture, “A Musician’s Life,” as part of the Illinois Wesleyan University’s School of Music Colloquia on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 4 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall, 1210 N. Park St., Bloomington.

The Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra, conducted by Steven Eggleston, professor of music at IWU, will perform in collaboration with Schickele’s long-time associates, soprano Michle Eaton and tenor David Dsing.

According to John Rockwell of The New York Times, Schickele’s work for symphony orchestras, choral groups, chamber ensembles, voice, movies and television, have earned him “a leading role in the ever-more-prominent school of musicians who unselfconsciously blend all levels of American music.”

Schickele has composed and arranged music for films and television broadcasts including a segment for the Disney animated feature film Fantasia 2000 and the score for the film version of Maurice Sendak’s children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are. In addition, he created music for the prize-winning feature film Silent Running and has composed for documentaries, commercials and several “Sesame Street” episodes. Schickele also served as composer/lyricist for the musical “Oh! Calcutta!” and has arranged for various folk singers, including Joan Baez and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Such distinguished instrumentalists and organizations as the National Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center have commissioned Schickele’s musical talent. His recent premieres include the “New Goldberg Variations” for cello and piano, performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax and “Symphony No. 1 ‘Songlines,’” premiered by the National Symphony and since performed by the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra.

A native of Ames, Iowa, Schickele spent his youth in Washington, D.C. and Fargo, North Dakota. By the time he graduated from college, he had already composed and conducted several songs, chamber music, and four orchestral works. Schickele went on to study composition with Roy Harris, Darius Milhaud, Vincent Persichetti, and William Bergsma at the Julliard School of Music, and later, under a Ford Foundation Grant, composed music for Los Angeles high schools.

In 1961, he returned to Julliard where he taught until 1965 when he decided to pursue a career as a freelance composer and performer. Schickele and his wife, poet Susan Sindall, currently reside in New York City where he concentrates on composing.

About Michle Eaton
Soprano Michle Eaton, best known for her performances of Baroque and Renaissance music, toured and recorded with the acclaimed Renaissance vocal group Pomerium. She has performed with the Ensemble for Early Music in productions of Sponsus, a medieval morality play and also sings with the period instrument orchestra, the New York Collegium.

Eaton’s other oratorio performances have included Handel’s Saul and Solomon, Bach’s Mass in B minor, Tavener’s Lament of the Mother of God and Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, all of which were part of the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in New York City.

Eaton has also performed contemporary music, including John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with the Jacksonville Symphony, and has toured internationally with the Phillip Glass Ensemble in performances of Einstein on the Beach.

Eaton can be heard singing on the soundtrack for Dead Man Walking as well as on recordings with Deutsche Grammophon, Angel, Dorian, Sony Classics, Nonesuch, Arabesque and Delos labels.

Eaton tours annually with Schickele, his alter ego, P.D.Q. Bach, and tenor David Dsing.

About David Dsing
Singer, conductor and composer David Dsing has performed in concerts, cabaret, and Broadway shows throughout the United States, Canada, and several European countries.

He served as chorus master for the Peter Sallas Mozart opera productions at the PepsiCo Summerfare, and as conductor for the Norman Luboff Choir. His own group, the Dsing Singers, performs regularly in New York and on tour and can be heard on the critically acclaimed albums, “Rags to Riches” and “The Cool of the Day” as well as on the soundtrack to the film Dead Man Walking.

As a composer and arranger, Dsing has over 30 compositions in print and his own series with Lawson-Gould Music Publishers. His works can also be heard on recordings by The New York Choral Society and on Pamela Warrick-Smith’s “Work, Fight and Pray,” and The Muse Machine’s “The Muse Machine on Broadway,” “Tonight at Eight” and “Heart and Music.”

Dsing appears regularly with Eaton and on Schickele’s nationwide P.D.Q. Bach tour in addition to touring with Schickele and his wife, Sindall, in “The Condition of my Heart,” a program about the joys and trials of a long marriage.

For additional information, contact the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music at (309) 556-3062.