King of Prussia, PA – Theodore Presser Company is pleased to announce the premiere of an all-new piano concerto by P.D.Q. Bach, the Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra (S.99%), Pianist Jeffrey Biegel, a longtime fan of P.D.Q., formed a commissioning project for the new concerto, which was joined by sixteen performing organizations. Biegel will give the world premiere September 24, 2016 with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, followed by multiple performances in the U.S. and abroad.
Pianist Jeffrey Biegel writes, "In the 1970s, I was introduced to the recordings of P.D.Q. Bach in junior high school. I was immediately transfixed. Fast forward to winter 2002, when I approached Peter (Schickele) to consider composing a new work for piano and orchestra as P.D.Q. Bach for me. He was too busy, and sadly declined. I decided to give it one more try in 2015. In his own words, Peter said, 'If I don't do it now, I never will!' Hence, I created the P.D.Q. Bach commissioning project. I was not sure how many orchestras and donors would agree to join this mission, but alas, fifteen orchestras and many devout followers of P.D.Q. Bach joined my cause! I never dreamed as a young musician in the 1970s that in 2016, I would bring a new piano concerto to the public composed for me by P.D.Q. Bach! I am honored and delighted to bring this new Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra to audiences in the USA and Europe during the 2016-17-18 seasons!"
Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra will be available through Theodore Presser Company on a rental basis.
The following orchestras commissioned this work:
Colorado Symphony Orchestra (World Premiere)
Jyvaskyla Sinfonia (European Premiere)
Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra
Empire State Youth Orchestra
Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra
New Philharmonia (Newton, Massachusetts)
North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra (Oregon)
South Florida Symphony Orchestra
South Shore Symphony Orchestra
Traverse Symphony Orchestra
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio
Peter Schickele could have had a glorious career in music. Instead, he had at least three. He served as arranger and orchestrator for folk musicians, chief among them Joan Baez, wrote and performed music for Oh! Calcutta! as part of a trio, Open Window, and then turned to presenting humorous concerts at Juilliard, which proved so popular that they quickly outgrew that venue.
The latter became a second career, lampooning classical music through his creation P.D.Q. Bach. Schickele created an entire universe around his character, churning out musical works great and small, inventing special musical instruments required to perform the music, winning four consecutive Grammy awards for Best Comedy Album, touring extensively, recording several best-selling albums of P.D.Q.'s music, and presenting annual concerts each year at Lincoln Center, somewhere around the end of the year.
Given all of this, Schickele still found time to broadcast a series of educational programs on classical music titled "Schickele Mix" for American Public Radio and then Public Radio International. Regrettably, only 169 episodes were recorded before funding ran out. He also continued composing under his own name, with over 100 works to his credit, from solo voice to full orchestra.
For more information, see our composer pages for P.D.Q. Bach and for Peter Schickele. Even more information can be found at Peter Schickele's website.
Pianist Jeffrey Biegel burst upon the classical music scene in the 1980s to strong reviews, garnering several important prizes along the way. Since then he has become an advocate for new repertoire, creating impressive commissioning projects for new works by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Charles Strouse, William Bolcom, Lowell Liebermann, Kenneth Fuchs, Richard Danielpour, and Jake Runestad. He is the go-to pianist for world premiere performances, such as Lucas Richman's Piano Concerto: In Truth, Peter Tork's Moderato ma non troppo, Neil Sedaka's Manhattan Intermezzo, and Dick Tunney's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: The Monkees. During the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Biegel will perform the world premiere of the P.D.Q. Bach Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra and Nocturne for Piano and Orchestra by Jimmy Webb. Read more about Mr. Biegel at his website.
Offering music by today’s greatest composers and teachers, Theodore Presser Company is the oldest continuing music publisher in the United States, dedicated to carrying out the aims and goals its founder established more than a century ago: service, with integrity, to music and musicians, commitment to quality, and a vision for the future. Theodore Presser Company is a full-range music publisher that also distributes the works of more than 70 American and foreign publishers, with a combined sales catalog that features over 60,000 titles.
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