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March 22

1868 Hamish MacCunn – Scottish composer, conductor and teacher (d.1916); lifelong champion of Scottish music and of the country’s musical life, composer of The Land of the Mountain and the Flood.

1925 Gerard Hoffnung – English composer and music humorist (d.1959); mounted the first of his ‘Hoffnung Festivals’ in 1956 in which classical music was spoofed hilariously.

1930 Stephen Sondheim – American composer, lyricist (d. 2021); his brilliance in matching words and music in dramatic situations broke new ground for Broadway musical theater in shows like Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods; also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.

1943 Joseph Schwantner – American composer (81 years old); his orchestral work Aftertones of Infinity won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize; also wrote Angelfire, a fantasy for amplified violin and orchestra, for violinist Anne Akiko Meyers in 2001.

1948 Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber – English composer and impresario of musical theater (76 years old); hugely successful composer of West End and Broadway shows like The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Cats.