Stephen Sondheim, legendary Broadway composer, has died, he was 91 years old

The musician passed away yesterday at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut

Legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim has died. The 91-year-old musician passed away yesterday at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, his lawyer told The New York Times. Sondheim, who also includes the lyrics to Leonard Bernestein’s famous musical ‘West Side Story’, has won eight Grammy Awards, nine Tony Awards – including the special ‘Lifetime Achievement in the Theater’ – and an Academy Award for Best Song for ‘Sooner or Later’ sung by Madonna and soundtrack of the film ‘Dick Tracy’. He was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Sondheim, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian award for his work) by then US President Barack Obama in 2015, had celebrated Thanksgiving with friends the day before his death, also reportedly. al Nyt by his lawyer. “Stephen Sondheim created fantastic worlds and characters, but at the center of every story he told was a kid from New York. And that boy was a legend. One of Broadway’s brightest lights went out tonight. May he rest. in peace, “tweeted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Born on March 22, 1930 in New York, Sondheim attends a Broadway musical for the first time at the age of nine. An experience that affects him deeply. But the meeting the following year with one of the greatest and most influential authors of American musical theater, Oscar Hammerstein II, his new neighbor, changed his life. Hammerstein II becomes a mentor for him, instilling in the boy the love and passion for music and theater, as well as giving him the first lessons on how to write musical comedies. After some teenage experiments with form, he is commissioned to turn ‘Front Porch into Flatbush’, a play by twin brothers Julius and Philip Epstein, into a musical. But the impresario dies before the musical goes to Broadway, where it was on the bill in the 1954-55 season, and the opera will only see the stage in 2000 with the title ‘Saturday Night’ in London.

The big break for Sondheim comes with ‘West Side Story’, Leonard Bernstein’s musical for which he writes the lyrics. The show debuted on Broadway in 1957 and had more than 700 reruns and a 1961 theatrical version that won 10 Academy Awards. In 2010, when Sondheim turned 80, a theater on Broadway was renamed in his honor. Ten years later, in 2020, he received the same recognition in London when the Queen’s Theater on Shaftesbury Avenue was renamed Sondheim. The composer leaves her husband, Jeffrey Scott Romley, who is nearly 50 years his junior, who was married in 2017.