Play now 55 mins
We are celebrating the birthday of one of the greatest living composers and lyricists of musical theatre in today’s concert from the 2010 BBC Proms.
Stephen Sondheim is 80 this year and over his long and distinguished career, he has continued to break the mould of the genre. During his early life he was tutored by the American musical theatre greats - having been mentored by Oscar Hammerstein II, he worked with Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story and Julie Styne on Gypsy.
Describing himself as a ‘playwright in song’, he went on to revolutionize musical theatre, creating original, witty and often challenging shows.
His award winning musicals span from the demented demon barber of Fleet St, Sweeney Todd, married life in 1970s New York, Company, to Sunday in the Park with George based on the pointillist paintings of the 19th Century French artist Georges Seurat.
World Service broadcast programme
Sondheim: Fanfare, Invocation and Instructions - The Frogs
Sondheim: Sunday in the Park with George
Sondheim: Agony – Into the Woods
Sondheim: Send in the Clowns – A Little Night Music
Sondheim: Epiphany – Sweeney Todd
Sondheim: A Little Priest – Sweeney Todd
Sondheim: Our Time – Merrily We Roll Along
Sondheim: Being Alive – Company
Sondheim: Side by Side by Side –Company
Vocalist: Bryn Terfel
Vocalist: Maria Friedman
Vocalist: Simon Russell Beale
Vocalist: Judi Dench
Vocalist: Julian Ovenden
Vocalist: Caroline O’Connor
Vocalist: Daniel Evans
Vocalist: Jenna Russell
Proms Sondheim Ensemble
Singers from the BBC Performing Arts Fund
BBC Concert Orchestra
David Charles Abell, conductor
Introduced by the BBC's Louise Fryer and writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson.