New concert hall in Sonoma named after ‘Peanuts’ character

Schroeder playing the piano in a scene from the comic strip Peanuts.
(United Features Syndicate, Inc.)

In the classical-music world, concert halls are typically named after philanthropists and other major donors who have given substantial sums of money to help make the new building a reality.

But in what may be a first, a performance venue at Sonoma State University in Northern California will bear the name of a comic-strip character -- albeit one with a high musical pedigree.

Schroeder Hall -- a modest, 250-seat venue located at the public university’s Green Music Center -- will have its opening later this month. The hall is named in honor of the “Peanuts” character Schroeder, the precocious boy who enjoys playing the music of Ludwig van Beethoven on his toy piano.

A university spokeswoman said that the hall’s naming was a way of recognizing Jean Schulz, wife of the late “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles Schulz. Jean Schulz has been a supporter and donor to the Green Music Center for years.


An inaugural performance at Schroeder Hall is scheduled for Aug. 22. The private event, featuring pianist David Benoit, will honor Jean Schulz with a program titled “Tribute to Charlie Brown.” A series of free concerts that are open to the public will follow the same weekend.

The hall was designed by BAR Architects of San Francisco and features a 1,248-pipe Brombaugh Opus 9 organ.

Schroeder Hall will be the newest addition to the Green Music Center, which also includes the Weill Hall, a 1400-seat venue that opened in 2012.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT