SONDHEIM, Stephen (1930- )
American composer and lyricist known for his work in musical theatre.
TLS – Typewritten Letter Signed, one monarch-size sheet, June 2000. Likely written to a good acquaintance who was a bookdealer. Reads: You are too generous by half. Please assure me you did not rob your own collection for the West Side Story program, because if you did, I want to return it to you. And, if you indeed found it anew, I insist on reimbursing you for it. Once again, I am in your debt…Gratefully, Steve S. Letter is accompanied by a striking litho print image of Sondheim by the celebrated Canadian photographer Yousef Karsh.
One of the most important figures in 20th-century musical theatre, Sondheim has been praised for having “reinvented the American musical” with shows that tackle “unexpected themes that range far beyond the [genre’s] traditional subjects” with “music and lyrics of unprecedented complexity and sophistication.” His shows have been acclaimed for addressing “darker, more harrowing elements of the human experience,”with songs often tinged with “ambivalence” about various aspects of life.