Legendary Composer Stephen Sondheim Dies Aged 91

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stephen sondheim

Legendary composer Stephen Sondheim died yesterday aged 91.

The New York Times reported that he passed away at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut.

His iconic works include Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods and the lyrics for West Side Story.

Sondheim’s resplendent sixty-year career made him a titan of musical theatre and tributes from fellow industry giants are pouring in.

Jason Robert Brown tweeted: “Obviously there are a million things I have to say, but also there’s really only one thing to say: Thank you, Steve, for everything.”

Cameron Mackintosh said: “The theatre has lost one of its greats and geniuses and the world has lost one of its greatest and most original writers.

“Sadly, there is now a giant in the sky. But the brilliance of Stephen Sondheim will still be here as his legendary songs and shows will be performed evermore.”

Sondheim was celebrated for his ability to acutely comment on human nature and the complexity of life in a matter of words.

He was a master craftsman who reinvented the musical by presenting incredibly complex and raw emotions in a paradoxically understandable and intricate way.  

Actor Andrew Linnie wrote on Twitter: “Stephen Sondheim could, in 5 or 6 words make sense of humanity in ways entire books failed to do.”

Tony award-winning actress Bernadette Peters wrote: “I am so so sad to lose my friend Steve Sondheim. He gave me so much to sing about. I loved him dearly and will miss him so much. Thank you for all the gifts you gave the world Steve.”

Composer Alan Menken wrote: “There is such a void, knowing we now suddenly live in a world without Stephen Sondheim in it. And yet, he will always be with us in his brilliant and peerless music and lyrics; a legacy for the ages.”

West End theatres will dim their lights for two minutes on Monday 29 November in memory of the musical theatre legend.

Words by Isabelle Casey


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