Johann Peter Schickele, the American composer known for his musical parodies and the fictional character P. D. Q. Bach, died at 88.

Who is Johann Peter Schickele?

Peter Schickele (x/@peachtreewinds)

Johann Peter Schickele, born on July 17, 1935, in Ames, Iowa, was an accomplished American composer, musical educator, and parodist. He gained fame for his comedy albums featuring music attributed to the fictional P. D. Q. Bach.

Schickele’s early life was shaped by his Alsatian immigrant parents. His father, Rainer Schickele, was an agricultural economist, and the family moved to Fargo, North Dakota, in 1946. Johann Peter Schickele pursued composition studies with Sigvald Thompson in Fargo, later graduating from Swarthmore College in 1957 and the Juilliard School in 1960.

Net worth:

His exact net worth is currently unknown.

Also read | Who was Lynne Marta? Cause of death, age, husband, Footloose, Joe Kidd, career and more


Schickele wrote music for folk musicians, including Joan Baez, and composed the original score for the 1972 science fiction film “Silent Running.” As a member of the chamber rock trio, the Open Window, he contributed to the 1969 revue “Oh! Calcutta!” and released three albums.

P. D. Q. Bach:

Schickele’s humorous side emerged with the creation of P. D. Q. Bach, a fictional character purportedly the youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. This parody figure led to numerous comedic works, earning Schickele four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album from 1990 to 1993.

Apart from his P. D. Q. Bach persona, Schickele composed over 100 original works, including symphonies, choral pieces, and music for television and films. His distinctive style blended European classical tradition with an American idiom. As a musical educator, Schickele hosted the radio program “Schickele Mix.” 


In his personal life, he married poet Susan Sindall in 1962, and they had two children, Matt and Karla, both musicians.

Also read | Who is Danielle Bonham? Jason Kelce gives signed jersey to his favorite McDonald’s employee

Cause of Death and Age:

Johann Peter Schickele died at his home in Bearsville, New York, on January 16, 2024, at the age of 88. His unique contributions to music, both as a serious composer and through the whimsical lens of P. D. Q. Bach, leave a lasting legacy in the world of classical and comedic compositions.