Sondheim is the first lyricist to receive the honor in the history of the award, which is presented by the St. Louis University Library Associates. Sondheim joins a roster of recipients that includes Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, August Wilson, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Joyce Carol Oates, Edward Albee, August Wilson, Tony Kushner, and James A. Michener.
St. Louis Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson will interview Sondheim at the award ceremony. Details about the event will be announced at a later time.
“The selection committee believes that as a lyricist, Stephen Sondheim transformed the world of musical theater,” said Edward Scott Ibur, chair of the literary award selection committee and president of the St. Louis University Library Associates, in a statement. “As a writer, he created storylines with depth and extraordinary, fully realized characters, breaking free from the traditional mold of musical theater writing.”