Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy birthday Schroeder

Like many American children, I'll wager, the first classical composer I was aware of was Beethoven, and thanks entirely to Schroeder, the musical prodigy character in Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts ensemble. I don't think I knew who Mozart was until a teenager, at least. Thanks to Schroeder I had heard the name Beethoven by the time I was in first grade. And according to Wiki it could have been Brahms:
Schulz once revealed that he had originally planned to depict Johannes Brahms as Schroeder's idol, but decided that Beethoven simply sounded "funnier."
And today, January 18, also according to Wiki, is Schroeder's birthday. I learned this quite by accident. Yesterday I was listening to classical music during work and noticed I really liked the music and then discovered it was Beethoven's seventh symphony and it occurred to me that I didn't own all of Beethoven's symphonies and immediately bought an album on iTunes containing all of them - it was a bargain at $6. More about Beethoven's symphonies in a future post.

Anyway, Beethoven made me think of Schroeder and I became curious if he had a last name, which apparently he does not. Although Schroeder is a distinctive enough first name that he doesn't really need a last name. Apparently Schroeder made an appearance on South Park and one on The Simpsons.

Schroeder first appeared in the Peanuts strip in 1951, as a baby. Presumably that would mean he was born January 18, 1950 which would make him 62 years old today. And he still has all his hair.

PLEASE NOTE: the Wikipedia links will not work on January 18, 2012 because Wiki is conducting an anti-SOPA blackout.