Why was Stephen Sondheim important to the 20th century?

Why was Stephen Sondheim important to the 20th century?

Sondheim, regarded as one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century theater, has been lauded for "reinventing 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 best-known songs include "Being Able Not Being Good," "Comfort Me," "I'm Still Here," "Not Just Any Body You See But Who I Want Someone To Be," "Sooner or Later They All Come Out," and "Where Do We Go From Here?"

Stephen Sondheim was born on January 4th, 1930, in New York City. He started writing songs at an early age and by the time he was a student at Harvard University had written more than thirty pieces that were performed around Cambridge. After graduating in 1952, he moved to London where he continued writing songs for the stage.

During his time there, he also wrote the score for the original production of West Side Story, which opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in February 1957. This was followed by other successful shows such as A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, and Into The Woods. In addition, he wrote the lyrics for several popular songs including "Being Able" and "Finishing The Hat".

When was Stephen Sondheim born and when did he die?

Stephen Sondheim, full name Stephen Joshua Sondheim, (born March 22, 1930 in New York City, New York, United States), is an American composer and lyricist whose talent in mixing text and music in dramatic settings pioneered Broadway musical theater. He has been called the "King of Musical Comedy" for his work during the 1950s and 1960s.

He received a bachelor's degree in music education from Manhattan College in 1951 and a master's degree in music composition from the University of Michigan in 1953. After working as an accompanist and assistant conductor, he started his own career by writing songs for various productions between 1954 and 1961. In 1962, he won the Tony Award for Best Original Score and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his score to Sunday in the Park with George. Other notable works include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), and Into the Woods (1993).

His songs have been performed on stage and screen by many famous artists including Julie Andrews, Angela Lansbury, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Liza Minnelli, Sylvester Stallone, and Shirley MacLaine. Sondheim's lyrics have also been used in several films including Some Like It Hot (1959), One Fine Day (1996), and That Thing You Do! (2010).

Who were Stephen Sondheim’s parents?

Sondheim, Herbert Janet Fox is Etta. Parents/Stephen Sondheim's Birth Name/Origin: New York City, New York, United States of America. Religion: Jewish.

He was born on January 21st, 1933, in New York City, the son of Etta (née Bernstein) and Herbert J. Fox, a clothing manufacturer. His mother was a daughter of the pianist-composer Rubin Bernharz. She died when he was only six years old after which he began to study music himself. He attended The High School of Music & Art for two years before going to Boston University for college. There he majored in English literature and theater arts and graduated in 1957. After college, he moved to Chicago where he started his career as a songwriter. In 1959, he returned to New York City and began writing for television. Today, he is one of the most important American composers of musicals.

He married Rosemary Merriam in 1960. They have two children together: Mark Paul, who is also a musician, and Jessica Lee. The couple divorced in 1969. In 1971, he married Felicia Green. They have a son together named David James Sondheim. They divorced in 1980.

Why were Rodgers and Hammerstein important to the golden age of Broadway?

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are two of New York City's best entertainers. In the process, they have contributed to the transformation of New York's Theater District into a vital cultural destination for Americans....

Rodgers and Hammerstein were among the first songwriters to realize that music was more than just another theme for poems or stories. They wrote some of the most popular songs of all time, including "My Favorite Song," "Some Enchanted Evening," "Oklahoma!" and "The Sound of Music."

Their influence on American musical theater is undeniable. Without Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, there would be no Cinderella, The King and I, or South Pacific. The story behind how these two great artists came together to create some of America's favorite songs is quite interesting. You can read about it here: http://www'thegoldenthornet.com/rodgers-hammerenstien/.

Rodgers and Hammerstein were also influential in other genres of music. "Oh, what fun it is to get to know someone new!," from their 1949 musical comedy State Fair, is one of the most covered songs in history. It has been recorded by dozens of singers including Elvis Presley, Rod Stewart, and Barbra Streisand.

How did Oscar Hammerstein influence Stephen Sondheim?

His greatest effect was on Stephen Sondheim, the lyricist for such productions as West Side Story, Sweeny Todd, and Sunday in the Park with George. From boyhood, Sondheim was a close friend of the Hammerstein family, and he ascribed his success in theater to Hammerstein's influence and mentoring. When Sondheim wrote lyrics for some of his own musicals over the years, they were usually based on poems or stories by other poets or writers.

Hammerstein helped Sondheim get started in the theater by giving him jobs writing songs for his own productions. In addition, Hammerstein taught Sondheim how to write lyrics that would appeal to audiences by explaining what types of stories people want to hear again and again.

They also shared an interest in politics. Like many liberals at the time, Hammerstein supported Franklin D. Roosevelt in the presidential election of 1932 because he believed that the federal government could help make America more equal and less racist. After Roosevelt was elected, Hammerstein wrote several songs for the president's campaign. One of them, "Put On Your Sunday Clothes," was later turned into a hit record sung by Rosemary Clooney.

When World War II began, Hammerstein joined the U.S. Army Air Force. He served as a lieutenant colonel in the Office of Strategic Services, which was later renamed the CIA. His job was to write songs that would encourage Americans to buy war bonds and support the Allied cause.

About Article Author

Dennis Armstrong

Dennis Armstrong is a teacher who loves to read and write about science. He has published articles about the stars and the planets in our solar system, as well as the physics of locomotion on other planets.

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