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Virgin Books to publish memoir by multi award-winning ‘Master of the Musical’


Virgin Books have acquired the UK & Commonwealth rights (exc. Canada) in a two volume memoir by the composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim. US rights have been sold to Alfred A. Knopf by Stephen Sondheim’s long-time agent, Helen Brann of The Helen Brann Agency, Inc., whose British co-agent, Sara Menguc, has concluded the deal for UK and Commonwealth rights with Virgin.
Sondheim is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards, including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre (received 2008), many Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. He has been described as ’ a “genius” whose work has changed the form of musical theatre’. From his concept musical Company to A Little Night Music to Sweeny Todd, Sondheim’s innovation continues to break the mould.
His career has spanned over half a century and his lyrics have entered the musical canon and popular culture. For the first time, those lyrics are being collected together along with rare and personal memories from his life that only Sondheim can tell, offering fans and aspiring songwriters keen insights into his writing process.
Sondheim’s most famous scores also include Sunday in the Park with George, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Follies, Into the Woods, Assassins and Passion, as well as the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.
These two beautifully produced companion volumes will be rich with history, gossip and delightful details, bringing us back to a time when theatre was truly one of the pillars of culture. Unique, behind-the-scenes images will accompany the text, along with many personal photographs of Sondheim with his contemporaries and collaborators.
Sondheim will be celebrating his 80th birthday in 2010, and there will be countless celebrations throughout the theatre community, acknowledging the achievements of a man whose work is still regularly being revived all over the world.
Insightful, poignant, sometimes scathing, and often funny, these unique and definitive memoirs will be an instant classic for lovers of music and theatre alike. The first volume, Finishing the Hat will be published in autumn 2010, the second volume, Look, I Made a Hat, will follow in 2011. Stephen Sondheim will be in the UK for promotion at publication.


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