Stephen Sondheim, the renowned composer of “Into the Woods,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Gypsy,” “Sunday in the Park with George” and other essential works of musical theater, died early Friday morning, according to Aaron Meier at DKC O&M, the producers of Sondheim’s current production “Company.” He was 91.
Sondheim died suddenly, the New York Times reported, citing his lawyer and friend F. Richard Pappas. Sondheim had just celebrated Thanksgiving with a dinner and friends the day before, Pappas told the Times.
As lyricist, songwriter, conceptual artist and creative force, Sondheim was perhaps without par in the modern American theater.
His works encompassed astonishing range: the updated “Romeo and Juliet” romance of “West Side Story” (for which he wrote the lyrics), the travails of a modern group of friends and lovers in “Company,” even the woes of presidential murderers (and attempted murderers) in “Assassins.”
Stephen Sondheim, the dominant voice in American musical theatre in the second half of the 20th century and the composer with the most Tony Awards, has died. He was 91.
Stephen Sondheim, composer of Follies, Sweeney Todd, dies at 91
He passed on Friday, having celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with friends the night before.
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.
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