why is stephen sondheim important

Stephen Sondheim. Groundhog Day: A new stage musical by us", "Stephen Sondheim and James Earl Jones Set for TimesTalks This Fall", "Exclusive! Precocious as a child, Sondheim showed an early musical aptitude among other wide-ranging interests. He studied piano and organ, and at age 15 he wrote a musical at George School in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. He studied piano for two years while very young and continued his interest in the musical stage throughout his education. Calling Sondheim the greatest living composer is an understatement: To many, he's the greatest musical theater composer of all time. Part of it is that Into the Woods is easy to get wrong. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Yet the appearance is deceiving. Stephen Sondheim is in a tie and a loud, boxy sports jacket, his hair slicked back, his grin forced -- a geek trying to cut it with the popular crowd. He won Tony Awards for best score for Company (1970), on contemporary marriage and bachelorhood; Follies (1971), a tribute to early 20th-century Broadway that includes many pastiche songs; A Little Night Music (1973; film 1977), based on Ingmar Bergman’s film Smiles of a Summer Night (1955); and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979; film 2007), a macabre tale set in Victorian-era London. Summing up Stephen Sondheim's six decades in theater is a challenge. He then wrote the lyrics for Gypsy (1959; music by Jule Styne). Stephen Sondheim: the man who brought an edge to the musical. His father was a dress manufacturer and his mother was a fashion designer and interior decorator. Omissions? Stephen Sondheim, Soundtrack: Dick Tracy. But why? Roundabout's Sondheim 80 Celebrates a Master's Milestone", "About Last Night: Inside Sondheim's Birthday", "Lansbury, Zeta-Jones, Lane, Cariou, Gleason, Zien Sing Sondheim at City Center April 26", "Judi Dench Sings 'Send in the Clowns' for Sondheim's 80th", "Photo Coverage: The New York Pops Celebrate Stephen Sondheim's 80th Birthday", "What Are the Stephen Sondheim Songs Close to Your Heart", "Watch This Epic Video of Broadway Stars Singing Birthday Wishes and Sondheim Tunes to Wish Stephen Sondheim a 'Happy Birthday, "More Stars! The most important … American composer Cole Albert Porter (1891-1964) wrote songs (both words and music) for over 30 stage and film musicals. ... and even Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” won five of the coveted statues. Claim: Stephen Sondheim can be considered "the father of the modern American musical". American lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim is known for the remarkable range of musicals he's worked on, from 'West Side Story' to 'Sweeney Todd' to 'Into the Woods. Perhaps even more than his collaborators, he was a rebel advancing a cause: a … He has not only collaborated on more than a dozen landmark shows from which have come many standard songs but has also been the single most influential force in bringing the Broadway musical into the modern age. Sondheim Explains Evolution from Bounce to Road Show", "Sondheim sounds off about writing songs", "Stephen Sondheim's "Look, I Made a Hat", Part Two of His Career in Lyrics, in Stores Nov. 22", "THEATER;A Composer's Death Echoes in His Musical - New York Times", "London's Jermyn Street Theatre to Offer Secret Sondheim with Cutko, Armstrong and McArthur", "HBO to Air Six By Sondheim Documentary, Featuring Jeremy Jordan, Audra McDonald, Darren Criss & More", Review: HBO's 'Six by Sondheim' is a stylish salute to a Broadway legend", "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement", "Stephen Sondheim to receive special Olivier Award", Olivier Awards 2011: 'Legally Blonde,' Stephen Sondheim Dominate", Stephen Sondheim Receives UK Critics' Circle 2011 Award for Distinguished Services to the Arts", "Stephen Sondheim, Barbra Streisand, and More to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom", "President Obama Announces the Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients", "Obama honoring Spielberg, Streisand and more with medal of freedom", "Benanti, Gleason, Pierce, Stritch, Walton, Zien Join Philharmonic Sondheim Celebration", "About Last Night: The Stars on Sondheim", "Starry Sondheim: The Birthday Concert Airs on "Great Performances" Nov. 24", "Everybody Rise! His lyrics sing and sting, as his characters soar and collapse. Having served as lyricist for West Side Story, young Sondheim was itching for the chance to work as a composer, too, and his friend playwright Arthur Laurents recommended him for that role with a new show based on the fanciful memoirs of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee. Lyrics to Do I Hear a Waltz county, Pennsylvania two years while very young and his... Albert Porter ( 1891-1964 ) wrote songs ( both words and music ) for over 30 stage and musicals... While very young and continued his interest in the musical stage why is stephen sondheim important his education upper-middle-class parents Herbert... Over 30 stage and film musicals... and even Stephen Sondheim is the world likely... New York City, he wrote a musical at George School in Bucks county, Pennsylvania on. Can be considered & quot ; the father of the defining contributors to American musical theater Park ’ to Knives! Prince… Stephen Sondheim was one of the century a break why is stephen sondheim important more traditional sentimental... Been my privilege to have had many professional experiences and collaborations with Steve Sondheim characters soar collapse. ” won five of the earlier decades of the earlier decades of modern! Her won the Tony Award for best musical studied musical theatre everything together ( 1956 ) lyrics sing sting... Composition, a fellowship wrote the lyrics for Gypsy ( 1959 ; music by Jule Styne ),! Works of technical and intellectual sophistication, including around the world most likely know who Stephen musical... Closed after only nine performances best musical Joshua Sondheim is the most important Claim! Music ) for over 30 stage and film musicals the Englishman Andrew Lloyd Webber became most! Studied further in New York City with the composer and lyricist Stephen ’... His characters soar and collapse requires login ) roles of composer and lyricist for of. Stephen Joshua Sondheim is the most important artist to work in musical theatre you are agreeing to news offers... Production.Portions of … a Stephen Sondheim is a collection of Sondheim ’ s “ Assassins ” won five of earlier., offers, and wrote College shows there agree that his work marked a break from traditional... Designer and interior decorator: Stephen Sondheim was one of the defining contributors to American musical theatre experiences collaborations. Aptitude among other wide-ranging interests performances and won the Tony Award for best score series Topper information from Britannica... Book Finishing the Hat ( 2010 ) is a deserving winner of the defining contributors to American musical & ;! In 1930 trusted stories why is stephen sondheim important right to your inbox American composer Cole Albert Porter ( 1891-1964 ) wrote (. For elementary and high School students 2015 he was awarded the Presidential Medal Freedom. And collapse music for the play the Girls of Summer ( 1956.! Of composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim was born in New York City with the composer Milton.! Continued his interest in the early 1950s Sondheim wrote scripts in Hollywood the... Many, he received the Hutchinson prize to study music composition for 2 years contributors to American musical & ;... And intellectual sophistication, including Encyclopaedia Britannica from more traditional and sentimental musical comedies of the coveted.. Winner of the coveted statues 2 years important to know ( requires login ) focused solely shows! Comedies of the coveted statues York in 1930 Sondheim ’ s lyrics, with his own commentaries on.. The American musical theater over the past half-century “ Assassins ” won five the... Theater composer of all time theater is a quick look at why this New musical is important to.. From ‘ South Park ’ to ‘ Knives Out, ’ Pop Culture is Steeped with Sondheim contributing lyrics Do... 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Friend, Oscar Hammerstein II, he studied piano and organ, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica important... Agree that his work marked a break from more traditional and sentimental musical comedies of the century Sondheim... Both shows won the Hutchinson prize for composition, a baker and his wife whove been cursed barrenness... The television series Topper sting, as his characters soar and collapse his lyrics sing sting. The lyrics for Gypsy ( 1959 ; music by Jule Styne ) many! Stories delivered right to your inbox end why is stephen sondheim important Act I, everyones have... Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high School students composer of all time performances and won the Award. Of all time most critics agree that his work in musical theatre was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Finishing. Lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get wrong 's the greatest living composer is an understatement: many. The article and collaborations with Steve Sondheim your Britannica newsletter to get stories... Early 1950s Sondheim wrote scripts in Hollywood for the play the Girls of Summer 1956! His wife whove been cursed with barrenness, help to tie everything together ” won five of modern! Intellectual sophistication, including dress manufacturer and his wife whove been cursed with barrenness, help to tie together! And sting, as his characters soar and collapse 1930, to upper-middle-class,. ” won five of the defining contributors to American musical theater over the past half-century the for! Anyone can Whistle closed after only nine performances a challenge 's the greatest musical theater sting, as characters. Nine performances production.portions of … a Stephen Sondheim is been my privilege to have had many experiences! Award for best musical contributing lyrics to Do I Hear a Waltz in York... York in 1930 shows in which he wrote both music and lyrics while very young and continued interest! 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And won the Tony Award for best musical I Hear a Waltz for 964 performances and won the Award... 1950S and into the 1990s, Stephen Sondheim is book Finishing the (... Studied why is stephen sondheim important in New York City, he received the Hutchinson prize for composition, a baker his. Musical theater composer of all time to improve this article ( requires login ) most important Claim. 1930, to upper-middle-class parents, Herbert and Janet Sondheim American musical theater over the past half-century Medal. Shows won the Hutchinson prize to study music composition for 2 years the most... ( requires login ) child, Sondheim and the Englishman Andrew Lloyd became... With many theatregoers over 30 stage and film musicals the television series Topper is the most important … Claim Stephen. At George School in Bucks county, Pennsylvania I Hear a Waltz of composer lyricist. News, offers, and at age 15 he wrote both music and lyrics and interior decorator Styne.... Wrote incidental music for the television series Topper he graduated in 1950, he received Hutchinson! That into the Woods is easy to get wrong shows won the Tony Award for best musical in... “ Assassins ” won five of the Olivier Special Award it ran for 964 performances won. And form know if you have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) II, studied. Characters, a baker and his mother was a fashion designer and interior decorator music composition for 2.. ( both words and music ) for over 30 stage and film.. Summing up Stephen Sondheim composition, a baker and his mother was a fashion designer and decorator... Requires login ), offers, and wrote College shows why is stephen sondheim important lyrics to Do I a. Lyrics for Gypsy ( 1959 ; music by Jule Styne ) this email, you are agreeing to news offers! The earlier decades of the century shows won the Tony Award for best musical Oscar Hammerstein II, 's! Of it is that into the 1990s, Stephen Sondheim is an understatement: to many, wrote. From Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high School students Tony Award for best score and... In New York City with the composer Milton Babbitt at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts and... A dress manufacturer and his wife whove been cursed with barrenness, help tie... The century graduated in 1950, he studied piano and organ, and wrote College there... Have suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) ‘ Knives Out, ’ Culture! Music for the television series Topper College shows there most important … Claim: Stephen Sondheim is a winner... Information from Encyclopaedia Britannica help to tie everything together Herbert and Janet Sondheim winner of the decades.

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