Stephen Sondheim legendary Broadway songwriter dies at 91.
Renowned composer Stephen Sondheim, who wrote “West Side Story” and a dozen other Broadway shows, died at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, on Friday at the age of 91.
His death was announced by his friend and attorney, F. Richard Pappas, who said it was sudden and that Sondheim was not known to be ill. He added that Sondheim had celebrated Thanksgiving with friends in Roxbury the day before his death, according to The New York Times .
Sondheim, considered one of the most influential composers and lyricists of his time, was one of the few people to have written the words to accompany his own musical scores, the Times reported.
For the first show in which Sondheim wrote both lyrics and music, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” it won a Tony Award for best musical, and the production lasted more than two years, the Times added.
He wrote the lyrics for “West Side Story” and “Gypsy” and produced a series of original works in the 1970s and 1980s, which was considered his most productive period, according to the Times. Those works included “Company”, “Sunday in the Park With George” and “Into the Woods”, among other productions.
“I’ve always tried very hard not to do the same thing twice,” Sondheim said in an interview with The New York Times Magazine in 2000. “I certainly feel out of the mainstream because what happens in musicals is corporate and mainstream. And If I’m old-fashioned, I’m old-fashioned. Being a hipster isn’t just about being different. It’s about having your vision of what a show could be like. “
During his career, Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for a dozen Broadway shows, five of which won Tony Awards for best musical and six for best original score. His show “Sunday in the Park” won a Pulitzer Prize for drama, the newspaper added.