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