Stephen Sondheim

American composer and lyricist (1930–2021) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Stephen Joshua Sondheim (/ˈsɒndhm/; March 22, 1930  November 26, 2021) was an American composer and lyricist. Regarded as one of the most important figures in 20th-century musical theater, he is credited for reinventing the American musical.[1] With his frequent collaborations with Harold Prince and James Lapine, Sondheim's Broadway musicals tackled unexpected themes that ranged beyond the genre's traditional subjects, while addressing darker elements of the human experience.[2][3] His music and lyrics were tinged with complexity, sophistication, and ambivalence about various aspects of life.[4][5]

Quick facts: Stephen Sondheim, Born, Died, Alma mater...
Stephen Sondheim
Sondheim, c.1976
Born(1930-03-22)March 22, 1930
New York City, U.S.
DiedNovember 26, 2021(2021-11-26) (aged 91)
Alma materWilliams College
Years active1952–2021
Jeffrey Romley
(m. 2017)
AwardsFull list
Musical career
GenresMusical theater

Sondheim's interest in musical theater began at a young age, and he was mentored by Oscar Hammerstein II. He began his career by writing the lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959). He transitioned to writing both music and lyrics for the theater, with his best-known works including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), and Into the Woods (1987).

Sondheim's numerous awards and nominations include eight Tony Awards, an Academy Award, eight Grammy Awards, an Olivier Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. He also was awarded with the Kennedy Center Honor in 1993 and a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.[6] A theater is named after him both on Broadway and in the West End of London. Film adaptations of his works include West Side Story (1961), Gypsy (1962), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), A Little Night Music (1977), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Into the Woods (2014), and West Side Story (2021).

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