- Michael Le Poer Trench
- Monday, December 9, 2013
Six by Sondheim, a new documentary examining the life and music of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, premieres on HBO tonight at 9 PM. Directed by frequent Sondheim collaborator James Lapine, Six by Sondheim is a personal profile of the artist presented through the six of his iconic songs. Told primarily in Sondheim’s own words, the documentary includes interviews with the composer, rarely seen archival material, and re-stagings of three songs produced especially for the film, including Audra McDonald performing "Send in the Clowns." NPR's Fresh Air calls the documentary "delightful." The Boston Globe calls it "stunning," a "must-see for musical theatre lovers." Watch the trailer here.
- Monday, September 9, 2013
Stephen Sondheim, who was awarded the Edward MacDowell Medal in August, discussed the award and much more on PBS NewsHour last night. While at The MacDowell Colony to receive the award last month, the composer spoke with Jeffrey Brown, NewsHour's Jeffrey Brown about the honor and the danger of resting on one's laurels. Writer Frank Rich, who was the chairman of the medal selection committee, tells the show: "I'd argue that he single-handedly has kept the musical theater in a serious place." Watch the PBS NewsHour feature here.
About Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim has written the music and lyrics for Bounce (2003), Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971; revised in London, 1987), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), and Saturday Night (1954; first production in London, 1997; New York, 2000), as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), and Putting It Together (1992) are anthologies of his work as composer and lyricist. For films, he has composed the scores of Stavisky (1974) and Reds (1981) as well as songs for Dick Tracy (1990), for which he won an Academy Award. He also wrote songs for the television production Evening Primrose (1966), co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and the play Getting Away with Murder (1996), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961), and Twigs (1971). He has won Tony Awards for Best Score for a Musical for Passion, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Follies, and Company. All of these shows won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, as did Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George, the last also receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1985).
Mr. Sondheim was born in 1930 and raised in New York City. He graduated from Williams College, winning the Hutchinson Prize for Music Composition, after which he studied theory and composition with Milton Babbitt. He is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, the national association of playwrights, composers, and lyricists, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981, and in 1983 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1990, he was appointed the first Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theater at Oxford University and in 1993 was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.
April 6, 2010
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury star in the first Broadway revival of A Little Night Music. The San Francisco Chronicle describes the play, based on Ingmar Bergman's film Smiles of a Summer Night, as "an irresistible waltz through some of Sondheim's most memorably melodic songs" and says this "cast album is a treasure." USA Today calls the album "the next best thing to seeing Lansbury's divine performance."