Awarded: April 2000
(b. March 22, 1930)
Stephen Sondheim stands among Broadway show composers and lyricists as the greatest of his generation. Mentored by the late lyricist Oscar Hammerstein after befriending Hammerstein’s son in school, Sondheim got his first big break when he was hired to do the lyrics for Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.” “West Side Story” became one of the most memorable shows of all time. Sondheim scored his first success as composer and lyricist with “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and had a hit again with the groundbreaking “Company,” which dealt with contemporary life and mores and did much to revolutionize the Broadway musical. Other successes have followed most notably, “Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Into the Woods” and “Assassins.”
Related Library Resources
- Read "A Little Night Music: Library Honors Composer Stephen Sondheim" from the July 2000 Library of Congress Information Bulletin.
- Read "Sondheim on Music: Library Copublishes Book on Composer" from the January 2003 Library of Congress Information Bulletin.
- View the online collection "The Leonard Bernstein Collection ca. 1920-1989."
- American Treasures of the Library of Congress features an excerpt of "Something's Coming" from "West Side Story."