American musical comedy legend Stephen Sondheim dies at 91

Stephen Sondheim, American musical legend and lyricist of West Side Story, has died aged 91, his lawyer told The New York Times on Friday.

According to F. Richard Pappas, Stephen Sondheim died suddenly Friday morning at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut (northeast of the country), after having celebrated Thanksgiving with his friends the day before.

Trained at a young age by the great master of the musical Oscar Hammerstein (Show Boat, The melody of happiness), Stephen Sondheim was hired at just 25 years old to write the lyrics for the now legendary “West Side Story”.

Born March 22, 1930 in New York City, he was considered one of the greatest composers of musicals.

He had notably worked on Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music, as a composer or lyricist.

Over the course of his long career, Stephen Sondheim has won eight Grammy Awards, as many Tony Awards, and an Oscar.

In 2015, Barack Obama, then President of the United States, awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor.

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