Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim was the toast of the arts world on Sunday (11Aug13) as he was honoured with the prestigious Edward MacDowell Medal. The award-winning musician and lyricist admitted receiving the lifetime achievement prize for musical theatre at the MacDowell Colony, an artist retreat in New Hampshire, had brought his career full circle after a childhood spent playing pieces composed by MacDowell himself.
Sondheim described the honour as a "sort of homecoming" and insisted he felt both "flattered and gratified" by the recognition.
Paying tribute to the star, Frank Rich, chairman of the medal selection committee, said, "No artist could be more deserving of this accolade. No artist has made a larger contribution to this quintessential American art form in the modern era than Sondheim has."
Previous recipients of the Edward MacDowell Medal include poet Robert Frost and painter Georgia O'Keefe.