Stephen Sondheim

Sondheim, {{circa|1976}} Stephen Joshua Sondheim (; March 22, 1930November 26, 2021) was an American composer and lyricist. One of the most important figures in 20th-century musical theater, Sondheim is credited for having "reinvented the American musical" with shows that tackle "unexpected themes that range far beyond the [genre's] traditional subjects" with "music and lyrics of unprecedented complexity and sophistication". His shows address "darker, more harrowing elements of the human experience", with songs often tinged with "ambivalence" about various aspects of life. He was known for his frequent collaborations with Hal Prince and James Lapine on the Broadway stage.

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 (including a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 2008), an Academy Award, eight Grammy Awards, a Olivier Award, a Pulitzer Prize, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. 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), ''A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum'' (1966), ''Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street'' (2007), ''Into the Woods'' (2014), and ''West Side Story'' (2021).

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Published 1977
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Published 1993
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Musical Score Book