‘Incomparable’ Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim dies at 91

Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, broadly credited with revolutionising musical theatre, died on Friday on the age of 91, The New York Times has reported.

Lawyer F Richard Pappas informed the newspaper that Sondheim – famend for musicals together with West Side Story and Sweeney Todd – died immediately at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, the day after celebrating Thanksgiving with pals.

“There are no words. He had them all. And the music. He was incomparable,” the UK-based Stephen Sondheim Society, which is devoted to selling and learning his work, tweeted together with three coronary heart emojis, one in all them damaged.

“He was God to many of us. We loved his work. And god he was good.”

Born on March 22, 1930, to an prosperous household in New York City, Sondheim was concerned in musical theatre from an early age.

He began enjoying piano at age seven and, after his dad and mom divorced and he moved together with his mom to Pennsylvania, discovered to jot down musicals with neighbour Oscar Hammerstein II, who with accomplice Richard Rodgers wrote vastly well-liked exhibits together with The Sound of Music.

Sondheim’s received his first large breakthrough on Broadway in 1957 with West Side Story, which transplanted Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to working-class Manhattan.

Later successes included Sweeney Todd, a couple of murderous barber in London whose victims are served as meat pies, which opened in 1979, and Into the Woods, which opened on Broadway in 1987 and used kids’s fairy tales to untangle grownup obsessions.

“I love the theatre as much as music, and the whole idea of getting across to an audience and making them laugh, making them cry – just making them feel – is paramount to me,” Sondheim mentioned in a 2013 interview with National Public Radio.

‘Singing your songs forever’

Sondheim received quite a few awards throughout his profession together with eight Grammy awards, and eight Tony awards, together with the particular honour of Lifetime Achievement within the Theatre. He additionally picked up one Academy Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and was nominated for a lot of extra Grammys and Tonys, in addition to two Golden Globes.

In 2015, then-US president Barack Obama offered Sondheim with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, for his life’s work.

Several of Sondheim’s musicals have been was movies together with West Side Story in 1961, which received an Oscar, and Into the Woods, starring Meryl Streep, in 2007. A brand new model of West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg, is because of be launched subsequent month.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created the smash-hit rap musical Hamilton and was mentored by Sondheim, has referred to as him musical theatre’s best lyricist.

Sondheim, who was homosexual, reportedly lived alone till his 60s, holding his sexuality below wraps. In 2017, he married his accomplice Jeffrey Romley, who survives him.

“Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics!” tweeted singer Barbra Streisand.

Actress and singer Lea Salonga, who was the primary Asian girl to win a Tony for originating the lead function of the musical Miss Saigon, thanked Sondheim for his “vast contributions to musical theatre”.

“We shall be singing your songs forever. Oh, my heart hurts,” she wrote on Twitter.