Stephen Sondheim passed away on Friday, November 26 at the age of 91. He was perhaps the most highly esteemed Broadway composer and lyricist of our time and certainly one of the most prolific. The New Yorker promptly ran an a tribute piece by staff writer Michael Shulman, who wrote of Sondheim: "I borrowed his cast albums from my school library so many times that the librarians finally let me keep them."
Shulman is undoubtedly not the only fan to discover Sondheim at the library, and he won't be the last. At San Jose Public Library, we have an extensive collection of his works in a variety of media. In our print collection, check out his books of lyrics and commentary Finishing The Hat and Look, I Made a Hat. If you are a vocal or instrumental musician, you will find plenty of Sondheim sheet music to study. Our DVDs include Sondheim stage-to-big-screen adaptations like West Side Story and Into the Woods, and you can borrow cast album CDs of many Sondheim works from A Little Night Music to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
If you use your library card to create an account on Hoopla digital, you'll have access to e-audio such as Sondheim, Etc.: Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall and e-video such as the 1986 television broadcast of a live production of Sunday in the Park with George.
Over his career, Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for 16 full-length Broadway productions and the lyrics for three more, also foraying into other projects like the movie Dick Tracy. He leaves behind no shortage of entertaining and thought-provoking material. The library is a portal to explore it all, bit by bit, piece by piece.