Stephen Sondheim – the composer and lyricist behind some of the world’s most famous musicals – has died at the age of 91, according to The New York Times.
Just some of his most famous works during his 60-year career include lyrics for West Side Story and Sweeney Todd.
The newspaper reported that Sondheim’s death at his home in Connecticut was sudden – and a few hours before that, he had celebrated Thanksgiving with his family.
Awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, Barack Obama said that Sondheim “reinvented America’s musical”.
The then-president added: “His best songs are not tunes you can hum; they are reflections of the paths we’ve taken, and the wishes we’ve made. goes wrong, relationships become fractured and fractured, there’s nothing left to do but send clowns.”
In December 2019, a theater in London’s West End was named after Sondheim in honor of his 90th birthday – and it is now home to Les Misérables.
In an interview with NPR in 2013, Sondheim said, “I love theater as much as music, and the whole idea of reaching an audience and making them laugh, making them cry – just making them feel – is paramount to me.”
Several of Sondheim’s popular musicals were later adapted into films, including 2014’s Into The Woods starring Meryl Steep and 2007’s Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp.