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Pianist Laura Leon

Peter Schickele 75th Birthday Concert on March 29, 2011 in New York

This being Peter Schickele's 75th birthday year, I could not imagine it without a celebration in New York. He has changed the world's musical landscape in so many fantastic ways for thousands upon thousands of musicians and music lovers.

He has a remarkable body of work-some serious, some humorous, some with a broad sense of music history, and all with a sensitivity to design and message. A fair number of works hark back to--and are influenced by--his deep love of the folk tune. He has a special gift for taking simple melodies and refreshing them anew for our ears, while always evoking another time.

On my Downloads page here, you can have the opportunity to hear (and download--for free) one of Peter Schickele's folk setting gems--Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah, which he generously made available for me to record as part of a special music campaign to help support the people and marine life of the Gulf, following the Oil Spill.

The concert will include several solo piano works, including his Epitaphs for Piano, a tribute to several composers, spanning from Orlando di Lasso to Stravinsky, and PRESENTS II for Piano, which I had the privilege of premiering in New York in April 2008. Among the wonderful chamber works to be performed, will be his Trio Serenade for Two Flutes and Piano, Seven Miniatures for Violin and Piano, and What Did You Do Today at Jeffey's House? for Horn and Piano.

And, of course, a concert in honor of Peter Schickele would not be quite complete without a tribute to P.D.Q. Bach (1807-1742)?--with gratitude to Professor Peter Schickele--featuring his Fanfare for the Common Cold for brass quintet and "Goldbrick" Variations for Piano.  

It is a privilege to be collaborating with a amazing group of musicians: Joan Plana, violin; Martha Locker, piano; Michele Eaton, soprano; Alice Jones and Kelli Kathman, flutes; Jill Bartels and Steven Cohen, horns; Caleb Hudson and Chris Venditti, trumpets; and Kevin Vergillio, trombone. And, Robert Sherman, of WQXR and WFUV, will introduce the composer.

Peter Schickele will be attending the concert. Though he will not be performing, he will introduce all of his works on the program.

We are excited and honored to celebrate Peter Schickele and his music on March 29, 2011 at Steinway Hall!