SONDHEIM, STEPHEN


SONDHEIM, STEPHEN
SONDHEIM, STEPHEN (Joshua) (1930– ), U.S. composer and lyricist born in New York. His meeting with his neighbor oscar hammerstein II in Pennsylvania (where he moved with his mother) led him to write lyrics for stage shows. Winning the Hutchinson Prize for music at Williams College enabled him to study privately with milton babbitt . Sondheim leapt to the forefront of Broadway lyricists while still in his twenties when he coauthored the songs (with leonard bernstein ) for West Side Story (1957). He followed this hugely successful musical with another lyrical triumph, Jule Styne's Gypsy (1959), and then wrote both the music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962). Company   (1970) revolutionized the art form, and Follies (1971) marked the start of Sondheim's collaboration with Hal Prince. A Little Night Music (1973) contained his most popular song "Send in the Clowns," while Pacific Overtures (1976) broke new ground with its use of Japanese kabuki theater techniques. Sweeney Todd (1979) is his biggest work. In Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Sondheim, inspired by a painting by Seurat, conveyed his images of the pointillist style through use of musical minimalism. His later works include Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), and Passion (1994), his most symphonic score. He also wrote film scores. Sondheim's musical language, in which melody and harmony are closely argued, retains strong affinities with Ravel and copland , while making sophisticated use of jazz and dance idioms; it is intensely personal. His use of counterpoint is the anchor which separates him from most of today's theatrical composers. Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatist Guild, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981. In 1983 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was appointed the first Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University (1990) and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors (1993), a National Medal of Arts Award (1997), and the Praemium Imperiale, Japan's highest honor, for a lifetime of artistic achievement (2000). In 2002 he received the ASCAP Richard Rodgers Award. Most of his scores have won Tony and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. "Sooner or Later" from Dick Tracy won an Academy Award, and Sunday in the Park with George was awarded the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Sondheim Review is a quarterly magazine dedicated to his works. Sondheim productions in translation have also spread to Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Grove Music Online; J. Gordon (ed.), Stephen Sondheim: A Casebook (1997); M. Secrest, Stephen Sondheim: A Life (1998); M. Gottfried, Sondheim (2000). (Jonathan Licht / Naama Ramot (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Sondheim, Stephen — ▪ American composer and lyricist born March 22, 1930, New York City       U.S. composer and lyricist whose brilliance in matching words and music in dramatic situations broke new ground for Broadway musical theatre.       Precocious as a child,… …   Universalium

  • Sondheim,Stephen — Sond·heim (sŏndʹhīm ), Stephen. Born 1930. American composer and lyricist whose musicals include Gypsy (1959) and Sweeney Todd (1979). He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for Sunday in the Park with George. * * * …   Universalium

  • Sondheim, Stephen —  (1930–) American composer and lyricist …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Sondheim, Stephen (Joshua) — born March 22, 1930, New York, N.Y., U.S. U.S. composer and lyricist. He studied piano and organ and at age 15 wrote his first musical under the tutelage of the musical comedy author Oscar Hammerstein II, a family friend. After studies with… …   Universalium

  • Sondheim, Stephen (Joshua) — (n. 22 mar. 1930, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Compositor y letrista estadounidense. Estudió piano y órgano, y a la edad de 15 años escribió su primer musical bajo la tutoría de Oscar Hammerstein II, autor de musicales y amigo de su familia.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Stephen Sondheim — Infobox Musical artist Name = Stephen Sondheim Img capt = Landscape = Background = non performing personnel Birth name = Stephen Joshua Sondheim Alias = Born = birth date and age|1930|3|22 New York City, NY, U.S. Origin = Instrument = Genre =… …   Wikipedia

  • Stephen — /stee veuhn/, n. 1. Saint, died A.D. c35, first Christian martyr. 2. Saint, c975 1038, first king of Hungary 997 1038. 3. (Stephen of Blois) 1097? 1154, king of England 1135 54. 4. Sir Leslie, 1832 1904, English critic, biographer, and… …   Universalium

  • Stephen — (as used in expressions) Austin, Stephen (Fuller) Bechtel, Stephen D(avison) Benét, Stephen Vincent Biko, Stephen Breyer, Stephen (Gerald) Brook, Sir Peter (Stephen Paul) Case, Stephen Cleveland, (Stephen) Grover Crane, Stephen Decatur, Stephen… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Stephen Sondheim — Stephen Joshua Sondheim Datos generales Nacimiento 22 de marzo de 1930 Origen Nueva York, Estados Unidos Ocupación Compositor, Letrista …   Wikipedia Español

  • Stephen Sondheim — (* 22. März 1930 in New York City) ist ein amerikanischer Musicalkomponist und texter. Er ist Preisträger eines Academy Awards, mehrerer Tony Awards (9), mehrerer Grammy Awards und des Pulitzer Preises. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biographie 2… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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