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Sondheim & Me

Revealing a Musical Genius

9781610885928
252 pages
Bancroft Press
Overview

A memoir chronicling the relationship between American musical composer Stephen Sondheim and journalist Paul Salsini during the latter's time as the founder and editor of The Sondheim Review, the only publication devoted solely to Sondheim's work during his lifetime. The magazine was begun in 1994 and Salsini shares his unique experiences interviewing, corresponding with, and speaking on the phone with the composer-lyricist through the entire next decade.

Sondheim & Me also looks into Sondheim's early work, shares personal letters and interview excerpts, and collects Sondheim's own special insights into his work, often as a reaction to pieces appearing in The Sondheim Review. Salsini describes the musical genius and his working approach in revealing detail, while emphasizing Sondheim's lifelong passion and success in raising the standards of musical theater with innovative, influential, and sometimes provocative new shows.

Author Bio

Paul Salsini graduated from Marquette University with a degree in journalism and worked for The Milwaukee Journal for 37 years. He was a reporter, editor, and staff development director. He was also the Wisconsin correspondent for The New York Times for 15 years, and his travel essays have appeared in the Times and elsewhere. He taught writing courses at Marquette for many years, and is now the writing coach for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.

As someone knowledgeable about musical theater, he also taught the History of Musical Theater course at Marquette and in 1994 founded The Sondheim Review, a magazine devoted to the works of the composer/lyricist, and was its editor for ten years. He now gives musical theater presentations at retirement homes.

He began writing fiction in 2006 with “The Cielo: A Novel of Wartime Tuscany.” It won several awards and became the first in the six-volume “A Tuscan Series.” His latest book, “A Tuscan Treasury: Stories from Italy’s Most Captivating Region,” was published in 2021. All ten of his books are set in Tuscany, the land of his roots.

He and his wife Barbara have three children and four grandchildren. They live in Milwaukee with their cat Rosie.