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Stephen Sondheim

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Biography

Stephen Sondheim (born March 22, 1930 in New York City) is a composer and lyricist for stage and screen. He is one of the few people to win an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards, multiple Grammy Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize.

Sondheim has been writing for the American Musical Theatre for the past four decades. His breakthrough musical Company revolutionized the art form. He is considered by many to be the finest living composer of our time.

His scores include Passion, Assassins, Bounce, Into The Woods, Sunday In The Park With George, Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, A Little Night Music, Follies, Company, The Frogs, Anyone Can Whistle, and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to The Forum, as well as the lyrics for Gypsy and West Side Story.

He studied composition with the legendary avant-garde composer Milton Babbitt. Sondheim says that when he asked Babbitt if he could study atonality, Babbitt replied “You haven’t exhausted tonal resources for yourself yet, so I’m not going to teach you atonal.” Sondheim agreed, and despite frequent dissonance and a highly chromatic style, his music remains resolutely tonal.

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