Yesterday morning, Sunday, November 28, hundreds of Broadway performers gathered in Times Square, New York to pay tribute to one of musical theatre’s leading composer-lyricists, Stephen Sondheim.
Sondheim’s lawyer and friend, F Richard Pappas, reported to The New York Times, that he had died suddenly on Friday morning in his home in Connecticut. According to the report, he had enjoyed Thanksgiving with friends the night before.
Stephen Sondheim, the revered and influential composer-lyricist behind some of Broadway’s most beloved and celebrated shows, has died at 91. https://t.co/8lSmZrbQEh
— NYT Theater (@nytimestheater) November 26, 2021
Sondheim, who was 91, is survived by his husband Jeffrey Romley, whom he married in 2017. Although the sexuality of several of his characters has been in question for many years, Sondheim himself didn’t come out until he was in his forties.
Best known for his musicals West Side Story (1957) and Sweeney Todd (1979), and hit song, Send in the Clowns from the 1973 musical A Little Night Music, Sondheim penned as many as 19 shows and was reported to have been working on a new show Fat Chance at the time of his death.
He left us with so many words, but none enough for this post. Goodbye, old pal. Thank you, Stephen Sondheim, for so much brilliance in the theatre and sharing your music with us all. pic.twitter.com/Qe55GcDQeS
— The Tony Awards (@TheTonyAwards) November 27, 2021
Throughout his prolific career which spanned seven decades, he received an Oscar for Sooner or Later from the film Dick Tracy. He also won an astounding eight Tony Awards and a further eight Grammy Awards.
Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics! May he Rest In Peace?? ?? pic.twitter.com/vshNSdkvpQ
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) November 26, 2021
The composer and lyricist has been remembered by many of his high profile friends and fans. Barbara Streisand recognised his contribution to the industry saying, “Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics!”
Among the other tributes, Hillary Clinton tweeted “Stephen Sondheim stirred our souls, broadened our imaginations, and reminded us that no one is alone.”
A peerless composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim stirred our souls, broadened our imaginations, and reminded us that no one is alone.
He changed the theatre—and our culture—with his craft, his humor, and his heart. Everybody rise! pic.twitter.com/iWo3xcVh8g
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 27, 2021
High praise also came from Sondheim’s musical peer, Andrew Llyod Webber who tweeted to his followers, “the musical theatre giant of our times, an inspiration not just to two but to three generations. Your contribution to theatre will never be equalled.”
Farewell Steve, the musical theatre giant of our times, an inspiration not just to two but to three generations. Your contribution to theatre will never be equalled. – ALW
— Andrew Lloyd Webber (@OfficialALW) November 26, 2021
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