Stephen Sondheim dies at 91, West Facet Story composer

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Stephen Sondheim dies at 91, West Facet Story composer
Stephen Sondheim dies at 91, West Facet Story composer

Stephen Sondheim, composer, lyricist and theater big whose Broadway musicals diverse West facet story And the gypsy to me Sweeney Todd And the Into the forest, died Friday, November 26, at his dwelling in Roxbury, Connecticut. He was 91 years outdated.

Sondheim’s work has earned him acclaim throughout the media. Over the course of greater than 60 years, Sondheim has obtained an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize, seven Grammys, and eight Tonys.

His songbook contains “Send in the Clowns”, “I’m Still Here” and “Being Alive”.

Though all of his present enterprise has been recorded by everybody from Frank Sinatra to Madonna and Meryl Streep, Sondheim was thought-about an acquired style. Even by Sondheim. “I’ve never been so popular,” he advised The New York Instances.

On the identical time, Sondheim was massively influential, increasing the concept of ​​what a musical may very well be. time Critic Richard Corliss described Sondheim as “an institution” and “the defining musical sound of his generation and those of those after”.

Sondheim was born on March 22, 1930 in New York Metropolis. On the age of ten, his dad and mom divorced, and Sondheim and his mom moved to Pennsylvania. There, Sondheim encounters a neighbor who turns into a mentor: Oscar Hammerstein II, the legendary Broadway lyricist and author (sound of MusicAnd the Oklahoma!).

“He taught me how to build a song, what a character is, what a scene is; he taught me how to tell a story, how not to tell a story, how to make stage directions practical,” mentioned Sondheim.

Sondheim wrote his first performances when he was a scholar. His profession began in earnest after faculty. Written on TV Comedy within the Nineteen Fifties wonderfulHe labored on a handful of musicals that did not make it to opening evening earlier than he was provided a piece that he associates with one other Broadway legend: the composer Leonard Bernstein. It was the occasion West facet story.

A story of New York’s Romeo and Juliet opened on Broadway in 1957. It received two Tonys (however not finest music), produced the Academy Award-winning movie and offered the classics “Tonight,” “Somewhere,” “America” ​​and extra. Set up a ardour like “Gee, Officer Krupke!” Along with his closing line, “You cherub!” Sondheim’s love for phrase play makes him sleek, and even a daring lyricist.

Sondheim’s subsequent project was the backstage musical gypsy. Initially, the then 20-year-old was employed to put in writing the lyrics and music, however star Ethel Merman requested to herald an older hand to compose the songs. Jule Styne-Sondheim’s subsequent rating supplied its share of benchmarks, together with “Everything Comes With Flowers” and “Let Me Entertainment You.”

Sondheim fulfilled his ambition of writing lyrics and music for the hit Broadway track in 1962 One thing humorous occurred on the best way to the discussion board. The present introduced Sondheim his first Tony. He would have received a Broadway award an organizationAnd the Foolishness some evening musicAnd the Sweeney ToddAnd the Into the forest And the ardour. In 2008, Tony was designated a Particular for Lifetime Achievement.

Sondheim reveals he did not win the Tonys, nevertheless it did add to his repute merry we roll, sunday within the park with georgefor which Sondheim received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the killerswhich even proved that one thing as non-musical as a presidential assassination might be fodder for music.

Sondheim songs had been carried out on stage by Angela Lansbury, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Elaine Stretch and others. They’ve been coated by the likes of Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and most notably Judy Collins. Collins 1975 recording some evening musicThe unhappiness of “Send in the Clowns” was a portray It hit the Scorching 100, and Sondheim received a Grammy for Track of the 12 months.

Along with West facet storyTranslated to the massive display screen, Sondheim seems gypsyAnd the some evening musicAnd the Sweeney Todd And presenting an all-star to his fantasy favorite, Into the forestStarring Streep and Johnny Depp, who additionally made headlines Sweeney Todd.

Sondheim wrote the unique music and songs for the movies, together with the Madonna-crooned track “Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)” by Warren Beatty. Dick Tracy. The minimize received the Academy Award for Finest Track for Sondheim.

with sociological affected person Star Anthony Perkins, Sondheim wrote the 1973 thriller drama movie, Final Sheila.

After the award-winning Tony’s victory ardour In 1994, Sondheim remained a fixture within the theatre, albeit principally by means of revivals and live shows.

He mentioned in 2010, “I don’t know there’s an audience now for the kind of shows I want to write. But that shouldn’t deter me, and it’s something I’m ashamed of feeling.”

Sondheim has obtained each the Kennedy Heart Honors and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Among the many survivors is his companion, Jeff Rumley.

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