Stephen Sondheim

American composer and lyricist

1930   -  

country of citizenship: United States of America
educated at: Williams College
occupation: dramaturge, songwriter, screenwriter, poet, lyricist, musician, author, composer, librettist
award received: Laurence Olivier Award, Pulitzer Prize for Drama, National Medal of Arts, Grammy Trustees Award, Praemium Imperiale, Edgar Award, Library of Congress Living Legend, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Kennedy Center Honors, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Johnny Mercer Award, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
position held: fellow

Stephen Joshua Sondheim (; born March 22, 1930) is an American composer and lyricist known for more than a half-century of contributions to musical theatre. Sondheim has received an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer, including a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre), eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award, and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has been described by Frank Rich of The New York Times as "now the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater". His best-known works as composer and lyricist include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1990), and Passion (1994). He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959). Sondheim has written film music, contributing "Goodbye for Now" for Warren Beatty's 1981 Reds. He wrote five songs for 1990's Dick Tracy, including "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)," sung in the film by Madonna, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Sondheim was president of the Dramatists Guild from 1973 to 1981. To celebrate his 80th birthday, the former Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on September 15, 2010, and the BBC Proms held a concert in his honor. Cameron Mackintosh has called Sondheim "possibly the greatest lyricist ever".
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