Stephen Sondheim, a genius of musical theater who created a new standard for American stage musicals and noted as theater’s most revered and influential composer-lyricist, died early this Friday in his home at 91.
The announcement of his death was made by his lawyer and friend, F. Richard Pappas. Pappas said that he did not know the cause of Mr. Sondheim’s death and nor was he ill.
The death came at a sudden shock because the day before Stephen Sondheim’s passing, he had celebrated Thanksgiving with his friends, as noted by Pappas.
As perfectly stated by CNN, “His work melded words and music in a way that enhanced them both. From his earliest successes in the late 1950s, when he wrote the lyrics for “West Side Story” and “Gypsy,” through the 1990s, when he wrote the music and lyrics for two audacious musicals, “Assassins,” giving voice to the men and women who killed or tried to kill American presidents, and “Passion,” an operatic probe into the nature of true love, he was a relentlessly innovative theatrical force”
“I’m interested in the theater because I’m interested in communication with audience. Otherwise, I would be in concert music. I’d be in another kind of profession. I love the theater as much as music, and the whole idea of getting across to an audience and making them laugh, making them cry — just making them feel — is paramount to me.”