Discipline: Music Composition

Stephen Sondheim

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: New York, NY

Edward MacDowell Medalist: 2013

As the 2013 Medalist, Stephen Sondheim became the first luminary chosen for the Edward MacDowell Medal from the realm of musical theatre. Born in 1930, Sondheim has produced an impressive body of work during his long and storied career. His oeuvre includes Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday In The Park With George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994), and Road Show (2008). He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959). He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1984 for Sunday In The Park With George, and an Oscar for Best Song of 1999 for “Sooner Or Later” from the film Dick Tracy. In film, Sondheim composed the score of Stavisky (1974) and co-composed Reds (1981). In 1983, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which awarded him the Gold Medal for Music in 2006. His works have collected more than 60 individual and collaborative Tony Awards.

In 1993 he was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award. Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, the national association of playwrights, composers and lyricists, having served as its President from 1973 to 1981. That year he founded Young Playwrights, Inc. to develop and promote the work of American playwrights aged 18 years and younger. His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: Finishing the Hat (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010) and Look, I Made A Hat (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011). In 2010, the Broadway theater formerly known as Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed in his honor.