Peter Schickele concert at the Maverick this Saturday

Peter Schickele and his discovery, PDQ Bach. (Photo by Peter Schaaf)

Woodstock has long been home to more than one normal town’s share of musical visionaries, passionate investigators of mysteries of the past, brilliant composers, practical jokers and borderline lunatics. Peter Schickele encompasses them all. The “discoverer” of the works of P. D. Q. Bach, longtime host of Public Radio International’s wackily informative music appreciation program Schickele Mix and inventor of the tromboon, pastaphone, dill piccolo and lasso d’amore, Schickele is an acknowledged national treasure. Once in a blue moon, his hometown gets around to remembering him as a local treasure as well.

One of those rare salutes will occur this Saturday evening at the Maverick Concert Hall, when the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild dedicates the 2012 iteration of the Woodstock Off-Beat festival to “The Musical Life of Peter Schickele.” Produced by Woodstock Chimes founder Garry Kvistad, the concert will feature the fiendishly versatile composer, musicologist and raconteur himself, accompanied by a so-far-unidentified and perhaps-deliberately-incognito group of instrumentalists and vocalists, performing a retrospective of the works of Peter Schickele as well as of J. S. Bach’s most obscure offspring.

The gala event is a benefit for the Guild, and regular Maverick passes are not valid for this show despite the venue. Ticket prices range from $25 for lawn seating to $175 for a deluxe package that includes a three-course dinner with wine at La Cucina, a gift certificate for a massage at the Emerson Resort and Spa and a 20-percent discount at the Byrdcliffe Shop, in addition to premium seating at the concert. Other indoor seating at the Maverick can be had for $85 and $65.

The musical mayhem gets underway at 8 p.m. on July 21. Tickets are available from the Guild at (845) 679-2079 or by visiting

Woodstock Off-Beat 2012 presents Peter Schickele in concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 at the Maverick Concert Hall to benefit the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. Maverick Concerts are located at 120 Maverick Road on the southeast side of Woodstock. Tickets cost $25, $65, $85 and $125 and can be obtained by calling (845) 679-2079 or at

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