Stephen Sondheim Net Worth


Stephen Sondheim was born on the 22nd March 1930, in New York City, USA into a Jewish family, and is a composer and playwright, considered one of the most important of the 20th century. He is the author of some of the most significant American musicals such as “A Little Night Music”, “Sweeney Todd” and “Into the Woods”. Sondheim has been active in the music industry since 1954.

How rich is the composer and playwright? It has been estimated by authoritative sources that the overall size of Stephen Sondheim’s net worth is as much as $20 million, as of the data presented in the early 2017. Music is the main source of Sondheim’s wealth.

Stephen Sondheim Net Worth $20 Million

To begin with, Stephen Sondheim was born into a wealthy middle class family. Shortly before his tenth birthday his parents divorced, and Stephen with his mother moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just a few meters from the residence of the most influential author of the American musical theatre, Oscar Hammerstein II, who inspired love and passion for both music and the theatre, giving him his first lessons on how to write musical comedies. Sondheim attended George School, where he actually wrote his first musical – “By George” – before studying theatre at Wlliams College in Massachusetts.

Concerning his career in theatre, at the age of 26 he wrote (alongside Leonard Bernstein) the lyrics for “West Side Story”, his first major success. After writing the lyrics for Jule Styne’s “Gypsy” in 1959 Sondheim presented himself more and more as a composer of Broadway musicals. Thus followed the musicals including “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (1962), “Company” (1970), “Follies” (1971), “A Little Night Music” (1973), “Pacific Overtures” (1976), “Sweeney Todd” (1979) and “We Roll Along” (1981) all directed by Harold Prince. Stephen Sondheim composed the music and wrote the lyrics for “Anyone Can Whistle” (1964), worked as a writer with Richard Rodgers on “Do I Hear A Waltz”(1965), wrote new lyrics for Bernstein’s “Candide” (1974), and composed the music and wrote the lyrics to the love drama “Passion”. The script was written by James Lapine, and together they made “Sunday in the Park with George” (1984) for which they won a Pulitzer Prize. Sondheim’s lyrics and music are distinct, characteristic and therefore very typical. He knows how to turn the everyday things into beautiful poetry. His net worth was constantly rising with each success.

Furthermore, Sondheim composed the music for the films “Stavisky” (1974), “Reds” (1981) and wrote several songs for the film “Dick Tracy” (1992), performed by Madonna. He wrote with Anthony Perkins the screenplay for the film “The Last of Sheila”, and composed the music and lyrics for the television musical “Evening Primrose” (1966). Also several musicals were filmed including “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (1966), “A Little Night Music” (1977), “Sweeney Todd” (2008) and “Into the Woods” (2015).

What is more, Sondheim has won Tony Awards among others, as the Best Composer and Best Lyricist for “Sweeney Todd”, “A Little Night Music”, “Follies” and “Company”. The latter also won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. In 1990, he received an Oscar for the song “Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)” from the film “Dick Tracy”. Sondheim was honoured for his lifetime achievements with a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre (2008) and a special Laurence Olivier Award (2011).

In addition, Stephen Sondheim is a board member of the Dramatists Guild, the American Association of Playwrights, Composers and Lyricists, and was chairman from 1973 to 1981 and was elected to in 1983, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1989, Stephen was appointed Visiting Professor of Drama and Musical Theatre at the University of Oxford. In September 2010, the Broadway theatre in New York was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, to coincide and celebrate Sondheim’s 80th birthday.

Finally, in the personal life of the composer, he admits to being gay, and although there’s a 50 year age difference, has been in a relationship with stage identity Jeff Romley for 15 years.

Daniel Wanburg
Daniel Wanburg
As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications. At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.


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Stephen Sondheim's Net Worth as of 2024
$20 Million