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Stephen Sondheim to Receive Handel Medallion, NYC's Highest Award for Achievement in the Arts

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim is due to receive the Handel Medallion, New York City's highest award for achievement in the arts, from Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a ceremony held this evening at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. The prize is chief among the Mayor's Awards for Arts & Culture to be presented at the event, along with awards for Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alice Diamond, Jimmy Heath, Maya Lin, Ronnie Schuster, and the Theatre Development Fund. Alec Baldwin is slated to present.

The Mayor’s Awards for Arts and Culture were created in 1974 by the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission to honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the cultural life of New York City. The Awards acknowledge and celebrate the role individual artist, art educators, cultural organizations, corporations and philanthropists play in the public-private partnership that sustains our City’s creative vitality and economic well-being.

This coming Sunday, November 6, Sondheim is due to receive the 2011 Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for lifetime achievement in an event at Chicago's Symphony Center as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. The event will include a conversation with Sondheim about his life and work. Also receiving Tribune awards on Sunday are authors Jonathan Franzen and Isabel Wilkerson, both recipients of the Heartland Prize.

Sondheim will publish his second book of collected lyrics, Look, I Made a Hat (Knopf), covering his works from 1981 to 2011, on November 22, following last year's publication of the first collection, Finishing the Hat, which Paul Simon, in the New York Times Book Review, called "a master class in how to write a musical ... given by the theater’s finest living songwriter." In advance of Sunday's event, the composer/author discusses both books with the Chicago Tribune in an article available at

To peruse Stephen Sondheim's Nonesuch catalog, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album at checkout.


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