WASHINGTON – Congratulatory letters poured in after the news broke about the death Tuesday evening of Stephen Sondheim – one of Broadway’s greatest composers, as well as the art of theater in America.
He is survived by his wife and longtime collaborator, Lillias White, whom he married in 1979. He is also survived by their two children. An announcement on the Stephen Sondheim Wing website said that there will be no further announcements at this time.
Actor John Glover, another longtime collaborator with Sondheim, said he was “devastated and deeply saddened.” He called the composer a “one of a kind force of musical humanism.”
Playwright David Auburn, whose play “Proof” was produced with Sondheim’s assistance, tweeted that the composer “maintained one of the strongest musical veins in American theater.”
“When you loved him, you did,” he added.
Fellow composer Michael John LaChiusa wrote, “I am stunned and deeply, deeply saddened. Singing his lyrics was like a therapy session… his were soaring high ones about the most intimate yet universal joys. I miss him already.”
Sondheim’s early musicals include “Company,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Pacific Overtures,” a dark 1962 musical that included songs about the extermination of Jews during World War II.