The noted composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim has died. The New York Times reports:
Stephen Sondheim, one of Broadway history’s songwriting titans, whose music and lyrics raised and reset the artistic standard for the American stage musical, died early Friday at his home in Roxbury, Conn. He was 91.
His lawyer and friend, F. Richard Pappas, announced the death. He said he did not know the cause but added that Mr. Sondheim had not been known to be ill and that the death was sudden. The day before, Mr. Sondheim had celebrated Thanksgiving with a dinner with friends in Roxbury, Mr. Pappas said.
An intellectually rigorous artist who perpetually sought new creative paths, Mr. Sondheim was the theater’s most revered and influential composer-lyricist of the last half of the 20th century, if not its most popular.
Stephen Sondheim, the dominant voice in American musical theater in the second half of the 20th century and the composer with the most Tony Awards, has died. He was 91. The Broadway icon died Friday, November 26th at his home in Roxbury, Conn. He was 91.
His shows, from the comedic “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” to the ground-breaking “Company” to the operatic “Sweeney Todd” to the experimental “Pacific Overtures,” transformed the Broadway musical stage, influencing and advancing the medium. Sondheim, a protege of Oscar Hammerstein II, slowly moved away from that melodic tradition to incorporate complex and dissonant themes and structures of 20th century classical music into his works.
From West Side Story (lyricist) in 1957, Gypsy (lyricist) in 1959, to Road Show in 2008, Mr. Sondheim’s contributions can hardly be overstated. He was the most important figure in American musical theater of the post-war period.