Stephen Sondheim

Biography

Born: March 22, 1930; New York, NY  
According to most critics and theater historians, Stephen Sondheim (born 1930) stands among Broadway show composers and lyricists not only as the greatest of his generation but also as the only great one of his generation. Observers may debate why Broadway failed to produce consistently great writers to follow the Rodgers and Hammersteins and Lerner and Loewes of the 1940s and 1950s, but the fact remains that Sondheim clearly ranks with such Read more masters, and even with Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, and other masters of the century's first half.

Sondheim became a protege of Hammerstein's after befriending the lyricist's son in school, but he got his first big break when he was hired to adapt Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet for Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story (1957). That show turned out to be one of the biggest hits and most memorable works of its time, and it brought many proposals for text-writing Sondheim's way --though he had always wanted to write music as well. Nevertheless, he worked with Jule Styne on Gypsy (1959), another enormous hit, and would later agree to collaborate with Richard Rodgers on the unsuccessful Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965).

Before that, however, Sondheim scored his first success as both composer and lyricist with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962). It was his last hit until Company (1970), a show about contemporary life and mores that did much to revolutionize the Broadway musical and, as many of Hammerstein's 50 shows had, move it more toward serious and exotic subjects. Since that time, Sondheim's shows have been amazingly daring in terms of subject matter, with unusual musical ideas and stunningly original lyrics. But they have not always been big hits, and have marked a time in theater when Broadway show music became a marginalized art form in terms of popular culture.

Nevertheless, Sondheim's shows of the 1970s and 1980s are benchmarks of the genre: Follies (1971) brought together aging Follies girls for a look at American middle age; A Little Night Music (1973) is based on Ingmar Bergman's film Smiles of a Summer Night and contains Sondheim's sole hit song, "Send in the Clowns"; Pacific Overtures (1976) ambitiously took on the subject of Japanese-American relations; Sweeney Todd (1979) was an operetta based on the British grand guignol tale of a murderous barber; Sunday in the Park with George (1984) was a biography of impressionist painter Georges Seurat; and Into the Woods (1987) wove together children's fairy tales with the theories of psychologist Bruno Bettelheim. At this writing, Sondheim's latest show is Assassins (1991), a short piece about presidential killers. In recent years, he has turned more to films, writing songs for Madonna in Dick Tracy in 1990 and reportedly working on an original movie musical. Read less
Sondheim: A Celebration At Carnegie Hall
Release Date: 11/21/2006   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4151   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 51-75 of 123 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Sondheim: Sweeney Todd Highlights - Original Soundtrack
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 356540 Release Date: 12/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Johnny Depp,  Helena Bonham Carter,  Alan Rickman
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  • 52.
    Clowning Around / London Brass
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46069 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Stephen Foster,  Julius Fucik,  Jan Koetsier  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Crowley,  Mark Bennett,  Robert Farley,  Anne McAneny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Brass
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  • 53.
    The Arthur Fiedler Legacy - From Fabulous Broadway To Hollywood's Reel Thing
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001005902 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Williams,  Stephen Sondheim,  Barbra Streisand,  Paul Simon  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 54.
    A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum / Original London Cast
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65070 Release Date: 10/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Christine Child,  Kenneth Connor,  Linda Gray,  Frankie Howerd  ... 
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  • 55.
    Way You Look Tonight
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637442198 Release Date: 10/02/2007  
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim,  George Gershwin,  Jerome Kern,  Joseph Joachim Raff  ... 
    Performer:  Raphael Klayman,  Aya Hamada
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  • 56.
    Spanish Love Songs / Lieberson, Kaiser, Et Al
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9228 Release Date: 10/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim,  Hugo Wolf,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Sebastián de Iradier  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Blier,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Joseph Kaiser,  Michael Barrett
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  • 57.
    Love Lives On / New York City Gay Men's Chorus
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 59663 Release Date: 08/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Stephen Sondheim,  Various
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York City Gay Men's Chorus
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  • 58.
    Symphonic Sondheim / Don Sebesky, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54285 Release Date: 06/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Conductor:  Don Sebesky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Dawn At Dusk - A Late Night Recital / Dawn Upshaw
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4198 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Richard Rodgers,  Stephen Sondheim,  Kurt Weill  ... 
    Performer:  Fred Hersch,  Dawn Upshaw
    Conductor:  Eric Stern
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
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  • 60.
    Sondheim: Sunday In The Park With George / Original Broadway Cast
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 68638 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Cris Groenendaal,  Bernadette Peters,  Mandy Patinkin,  Dana Ivey  ... 
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  • 61.
    Sondheim: Sweeney Todd / Original Broadway Cast
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68639 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Victor Garber,  Angela Lansbury,  Jack Eric Williams,  Sarah Rice  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Gemignani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Best Of Broadway - Hit Songs From Hit Musicals / Davies, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64078 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Kander,  Marvin Hamlisch,  Jerry Herman,  Jim Jacobs / Warren Casey  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Dore,  Mary Carewe
    Conductor:  Nick Davies
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  West End Chorus
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  • 63.
    Company / 2006 Broadway Revival Cast
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 106876 Release Date: 02/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Raul Esparza
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  • 64.
    Showtime! Music Of Broadway & Hollywood / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Mormon Tabernacle   Catalog: 70057 Release Date: 02/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Mitchell Leigh,  Harold Arlen,  Lucy Simon  ... 
    Conductor:  Craig Jessop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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  • 65.
    Sondheim: A Celebration At Carnegie Hall
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4151 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Jerry Hadley,  Madeline Kahn,  Jeanne Lehman,  Mark Jacoby  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Gemignani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Theatre Orchestra,  Tonics,  Boys' Choir of Harlem
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  • 66.
    Sunday In The Park With George / 2006 London Revival Cast
    Label: P.s. Classics   Catalog: 640 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Lauren Calpin,  Sarah French Ellis,  Liza Sadovy,  Alasdair Harvey  ... 
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  • 67.
    Sondheim: Sweeney Todd / 2005 Broadway Cast
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79946 Release Date: 01/31/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  Mark Jacoby,  Diana DiMarzio,  Lauren Molina,  Michael Cerveris  ... 
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  • 68.
    Blood & Feathers - Live At The Cafe Carlyle / Ute Lemper
    Label: Drg   Catalog: 18002 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Weill,  Georges Moustaki,  Ute Lemper,  Stephen Sondheim  ... 
    Performer:  Ute Lemper,  Werner Gierig,  Gregory Jones,  Mark Lambert  ... 
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  • 69.
    Simple Gifts / Bryn Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000477202 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Brackett,  Stanley Myers,  William Gould Tomer,  Stephen Sondheim  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  John Williams,  Simon Keenlyside,  Aled Jones
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Voices
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  • 70.
    For You, For Me - Songs Of Copland, Etc / Bruce Hubbard
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31553 Release Date: 10/04/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Irving Berlin,  Stephen Sondheim,  Jerome Kern  ... 
    Performer:  Bruce Hubbard,  Marvis Martin
    Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's
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  • 71.
    Stardust - Rodgers, Gershwin, Sondheim / Utterback
    Label: Connoisseur Society   Catalog: 4253 Release Date: 08/30/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Bill Evans,  George Duning,  Frankie Laine  ... 
    Performer:  Joe Utterback
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  • 72.
    Sondheim, Etc., Etc.: Live At Carnegie Hall - The Rest Of It / Bernadette Peters
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 74748 Release Date: 08/02/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marvin Laird,  Harry Warren,  Arthur Johnston,  Nathaniel Davis Ayer  ... 
    Performer:  Bernadette Peters
    Conductor:  Marvin Laird
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Serious Fun ! - Berners, Nicholas, Baker/ Applebaum, Hamelin
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 744 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Nathaniel Baker,  Tom Lehrer,  Peter Winkler,  Stephen Sondheim  ... 
    Performer:  Jody Karin Applebaum,  Marc-André Hamelin
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  • 74.
    Blood & Feathers - Live At The Cafe Carlyle / Ute Lemper
    Label: Drg   Catalog: 91490 Release Date: 06/07/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Weill,  Georges Moustaki,  Ute Lemper,  Stephen Sondheim  ... 
    Performer:  Ute Lemper,  Werner Gierig,  Gregory Jones,  Mark Lambert  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 75.
    Sondheim: Pacific Overtures / 2004 Broadway Cast
    Label: P.s. Classics   Catalog: 528 Release Date: 05/10/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim
    Performer:  B. D. Wong
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