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Stephen Sondheim Named 54th Annual Edward MacDowell Medal Recipient

Composer Stephen Sondheim will receive the 54th Edward MacDowell Medal, it was revealed today. Awarded by The MacDowell Colony, one of the nation's leading artist residency programs, The MacDowell Medal has been awarded annually to an individual artist who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her field.

"This is not only a wonderful honor, but a sort of homecoming to me," Sondheim told The New York Times, "As I spent much of my piano-playing childhood beginning with 'To a Wild Rose' and working my way up to the Second Piano Sonata."

The award is rotated among the seven artistic disciplines practiced at MacDowell; past Medal recipients include playwrights Edward Albee (2011), Thornton Wilder (1960) and Lillian Hellman (1976), visual artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1972), composer Leonard Bernstein (1987), architect I.M. Pei (1998), filmmaker Stan Brakhage (1989), interdisciplinary artist Merce Cunningham (2003), and writer Alice Munro (2006).

Living legend Stephen Sondheim is the winner of one Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer), multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award. His most famous scores include A Little Night Music, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Assassins. He additionally wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. Film contributions include contributing the song "Goodbye For Now" to the 1981 Warren Beatty film Reds, and five songs for the 1990 movie Dick Tracy, including Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man), which won the Academy Award for Best Song.

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