Legendary Composer Stephen Sondheim to Visit Susquehanna
Published on January 14, 2013
Renowned composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who crafted the music of “Sweeney Todd” and the lyrics of “West Side Story” among many other Broadway classics, will discuss his works on Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. in Susquehanna’s Weber Chapel Auditorium.
In a career spanning nearly 60 years, Sondheim has won Tony Awards and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for the scores of “Passion,” “Into the Woods,” “Sweeney Todd,” “A Little Night Music,” “Follies” and “Company.” The musical “Sunday in the Park With George” earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1985. He won an Academy Award for songs he composed for the film “Dick Tracy” and has also written songs for television programming.
W. Douglas Powers, associate professor of theatre, will explore Sondheim’s extraordinary influence on Broadway by interviewing him on stage, in a conversational style similar to that used on the Bravo cable channel’s “Inside the Actors Studio.”
Jennifer Sacher Wiley, associate professor of music, said Sondheim’s strengths include “his breadth of expression; his precision with language, harmony and rhythm; his biting wit combined with tenderness; and his comfort with all aspects of humanity.” Powers added that Sondheim creates “intricate, almost puzzle-like lyrics that illuminate character.”
Sondheim’s visit is sponsored by The Dr. Bruce L. Nary Theatre Guest Artist Fund, established in 2005 for the purpose of bringing to campus recognized professionals in the field of theatre. The goal of the program is to enhance the educational experience of students and others who may benefit from participating in seminars or attending presentations with the selected professionals.
The Nary fund honors the late theatre professor for his love of teaching and the significant contributions he made to the Department of Communications and Theatre during his 31-year career at Susquehanna.
Sondheim’s talk will seek to inspire both music and theatre lovers. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for seating. Visit the campus box office or call 570-372-ARTS Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., for tickets.
Susquehanna University Welcomes Stephen Sondheim
Susquehanna University faculty and students with the music and theatre departments reflect on Stephen Sondheim's visit.