Classical Music Comedians You Need to Know
Looking for a little light relief? These classical music comedians are just what you need! From Beethoven to Bach, they’ll have you in stitches while you learn a little something too.
Who are they?
These are the people that can play classical music and make you laugh at the same time. They are amazing and you need to know who they are. Get ready to have your mind blown by these incredibly talented classical music comedians.
Victor Borge (born Børge Rosenbaum; 3 January 1909 – 23 December 2000) was a Danish and American comedian, conductor, and pianist who achieved great popularity on radio and television in the United States and Europe. His signature humour was directed at musical performers, although he also appeared in numerous vaudeville sketches as well.
Borge began studying piano at age eight. By age thirteen, he gave his first public piano recital. In 1928, he graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Music, where Carl Nielsen was among his piano teachers. That same year, he won the first prize in a national piano competition. He soon worked his way up to top billing on Copenhagen radio.
In 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Denmark and confiscated radios across the country in an attempt to control public opinion; however, people continued listening to Borge’s humor on illicit shortwave transmissions from Sweden. He became popular enough that he played two concerts for Troops of Allied nations during World War II. After the war ended and Denmark was liberated from German occupation, celebrations broke out because peace had finally come to Europe. It was during one of these celebratory concerts that Borge improvised a joke about the central heating system being overly noisy: “Ladies and gentlemen! We will nowassiäde aVictor Borge number entitled ‘Silence Please’.”:143
Peter Schickele is an American composer, musicologist, and parodist, best known for the creation of P. D. Q. Bach, a satirical musician and composer who supposedly lived in the 18th century. Schickele was born in Ames, Iowa, on July 17, 1935. He began studying piano at an early age and later took up the viola. He attended Swarthmore College, where he studied music with Darius Milhaud and Roger Sessions, and earned his B.A. in 1957. He then studied at the Juilliard School with William Bergsma and Vincent Persichetti, earning his M.S. in 1961.
After completing his studies, Schickele became a faculty member at the University of Southern California, where he taught until 1963. He then began working as a freelance composer and music educator. In 1965, he created P. D.(atural) Q.(uantity) Bach or P. D. Q., as a graduate student at UCSD while working on his doctoral dissertation on Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080). He has since devote much of his career to performing and recording the works of P. D .Q .Bach . In addition to his output as P .D .Q .Bach , Schickele has composed numerous orchestral , choral , chamber , solo vocal , educational , film , television , stage works , including five symphonies , an opera based on Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1975) .
Composer, singer, and mathematician, Tom Lehrer is a bit of an enigma. His clever lyrics and elegant pianoplaying have charmed audiences for over 50 years, making him one of the most iconic performers of the 20th century.
Lehrer was born in 1928 in New York City and showed an early aptitude for music. He began studying piano at age seven and went on to study at Harvard University, where he earned a degree in mathematics. It was during his time at Harvard that Lehrer began writing songs to perform at college parties; his first song, “Fight Fiercely Harvard,” was about the school’s competitive admissions process.
Lehrer’s career took off in the 1950s when he began selling his songs to various radio and television programs. His satirical songs about everything from nuclear warfare to Sigmund Freud made him a popular figure on the college campus circuit. In 1960, Lehrer released his first album, An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer, which became an instant classic.
Lehrer continued to perform and record throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but by the 1980s he had largely retired from music altogether. In recent years, however, he has made occasional appearances – most notably on The Simpsons – and his records continue to be popular among fans of satirical music.
What is their music like?
Most people think of classical music as being very stuffy and boring. However, there are actually a lot of classical music comedians out there who are making this genre of music a lot more fun. Let’s take a look at some of these comedians and their music.
Victor Borge was a Danish-American comedian, actor, and musician who achieved great popularity on radio and television in the United States and Europe. His signature act mixed classical music with comedy, often involving spoofing of several well-known composers. He isborg is perhaps best known for his comedic style, which often included exaggerating the quirks of concert pianists and composers.
Peter Schickele is an American composer, musicologist, and radio personality best known for his comic persona, P.D.Q. Bach. He has hosted The Schickele Mix on National Public Radio since 1977, and has produced over 100 albums of P.D.Q. Bach’s music, as well as music by other classical composers. Schickele’s comedic style is a mix of deadpan delivery, wordplay, physical comedy, and sight gags. He often incorporates contemporary references into his act, and his music is characterized by its use of pop culture elements mixed with classical music conventions.
Tom Lehrer is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. He has been described as “the greatest living exponent of the musical genre of satire”. His work often parodies popular song forms, though he usually creates original melodies when doing so. Lehrer’s often satirical songs are characterized by clever wordplay, and he is considered a pioneer of political satire in popular music. Lehrer was born in New York City and graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mathematics. He taught mathematics while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and he began writing songs to entertain his shipmates. After the war, he worked as a songwriter for The Nation magazine before moving into television comedy writing.
What are they known for?
You’re probably thinking, “What is classical music comedy?” It’s a subgenre of comedy that pokes fun at classical music and the people who love it. It’s a niche market, but there are a few classical music comedians out there who are really funny. So, if you’re looking for a good laugh, check out these classical music comedians.
Victor Borge was a world-renowned classical music comedian, often known as “The Clown Prince of Denmark.” He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1909 and began his career as a piano prodigy, giving his first public performance at the age of eight. He later moved to the United States, where he rose to fame on Broadway and in nightclubs with his funny interpretations of classical music. He also appeared on radio and television, and even made a cameo appearance in the 1968 film The Impossible Dream. Borge died in 2000 at the age of 90.
Peter Schickele is an American composer, musicologist, author, humorist, and satirist best known for the discovery, promotion and development of the musical spoof genre known as P.D.Q. Bach. He has composed a number of original works in a variety of serious musical styles as well as arrangements and reconstructions of existing works. His humorous works incorporate parody, chaconne, canon, musical anagrams and acrostic puzzles.
He is perhaps most famous for his discovers and “unveilings” of the 17th century German composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s “lost” cantata Eine kleine Nichtmusik (A Little Non-Music), which consists entirely of non-musical noises made by Instruments; his pseudonym P.D.Q. Bach is a pun on J.S.’s name (JS Bach = jailbirds).
In addition to his work with P.D.Q. Bach, Schickele has composed a number of original works in a variety of serious musical styles as well as arrangements and reconstructions of existing works. His humorous works incorporate parody, chaconne, canon, musical anagrams and acrostic puzzles.
Tom Lehrer is an American singer-songwriter, musician and mathematician, who has achieved cult status for songs such as “The Vatican Rag” and laugh-out-loud funny educational songs like “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”. Lehrer is a classical music fan and often quoted or referenced composer Johann Sebastian Bach in his songs.