“ Steve Swayne’ s How Sondheim Found His Sound is a fascinating treatment and remarkable analysis of America’ s greatest playwright in song. His marvelous text goes a long way toward placing Stephen Sondheim among the towering artists of the late twentieth century!” — Cornel West, Princeton University “ Sondheim’ s career and music have never been so skillfully dissected, examined, and put in context. With its focus on his work as composer, this book is surprising and welcome.” — Theodore S. Chapin, President and Executive Director, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization “ . . . an intriguing ‘ biography’ of the songwriter’ s style. . . . Swayne is to be congratulated for taking the study of this unique composer/lyricist into hitherto unnavigated waters.” — Stage Directions “ The research is voluminous, as are the artistry and perceptiveness. Swayne has lived richly within the world of Sondheim’ s music.” — Richard Crawford, author of America’ s Musical Life: A History “ Amid the ever-more-crowded bookshelf of writings on Sondheim, Swayne’ s analysis of Sondheim’ s development as a composer stands up as a unique and worthy study. . . . For the Sondheim aficionados, there are new ideas and new information, and for others, Swayne’ s How Sondheim Found His Sound will provide an intriguing introduction into the mind of arguably the greatest and most influential living Broadway composer.” — talkinbroadway.com “ What a fascinating book, full of insights large and small. An impressive analysis and summary of Sondheim’ s many sources of inspiration. All fans of the composer and lovers of Broadway in general will treasure and frequently refer to Swayne’ s work.” — Tom Riis, Joseph Negler Professor of Musicology and Director of the American Music Research Center, University of Colorado Stephen Sondheim has made it clear that he considers himself a “ playwright in song.” How he arrived at this unique appellation is the subject of How Sondheim Found His Sound— an absorbing study of the multitudinous influences on Sondheim’ s work. Taking Sondheim’ s own comments and music as a starting point, author Steve Swayne offers a biography of the artist’ s style, pulling aside the curtain on Sondheim’ s creative universe to reveal the many influences— from classical music to theater to film— that have established Sondheim as one of the greatest dramatic composers of the twentieth century.