Stephen Sondheim death: Musical theatre legend behind Sweeney Todd and Company dies aged 91

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Stephen Sondheim, the legendary theatre composer has died aged 91.

Regarded as one of the foremost artists of the 20th Century, Sondheim wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and composed Into the Woods among many others.

Sondheim’s friend and lawyer F Richard Pappas announced his death, which he described as “sudden”.

According to Pappas, Sondheim had spent the previous day having a Thanksgiving dinner with friends in Roxbury, Connecticut.

Born in New York in 1930, Sondheim was tutored by the great composer Oscar Hammerstein before having his first big hit at just 27 with West Side Story which was a retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in Fifties New York City.

In a Broadway career that lasted over 60 years, Sondheim co-created other classics of the stage such as Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and Company.

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