MacDowell Colony honors Stephen Sondheim
Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim accepts the Edward MacDowell Medal at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough Sunday. (MEGHAN PIERCE PHOTO)
It is the first time the MacDowell Colony has honored an artist in the musical theater field.
"This took not only talent and craft, but courage," Rich said.
Upon accepting the medal, 83-year-old Sondheim said he is humbled and privileged to be among the other recipients that include Robert Frost and his "West Side Story" collaborator Leonard Bernstein.
Adding he did mean to say musical comedy, which the genre was originally know as. It is known today as musical theater mostly because of the dramatic and experimental efforts of Hammerstein, especially in "Oklahoma," "Carousel" and "Show Boat," Sondheim said.
Sondheim said he had never been to MacDowell before, but said he has tenuous connection to composer Edward MacDowell.
The Medal Day festivities attracted nearly 2,000 people to the art colony on High Street Sunday afternoon.
Medal Day is the one day of the year the 106-year-old art colony is open to the public.Sondheim is the 54th recipient of the award that has been given annually since 1960.
Afterward, the 32 artist studios scattered around the 450-acre property were opened up to the visitors for tours and visits with current artists in residence.In a world full of distractions, "MacDowell gives artists uninterrupted time to think deeply," said Executive Director Cheryl A. Young during the ceremony. "The MacDowell solution removes distractions, giving the artist time to pause and think and in that process the art that they make shifts and when we participate in that art our ideas shift."
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