Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday will be celebrated by the BBC Proms this year with a special 'all-Sondheim Prom' on 31 July 2010.

With a cast led by Bryn Terfel, Maria Friedman and Simon Russell Beale, 'Prom 19' will feature excerpts from Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music and Into the Woods, as well as Company, Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George.

Terfel, Friedman and Russell Beale will be joined by young performers supported by the BBC Performing Arts Fund, with Martin Duncan directing and David Charles Abell conducting.

Musical theatre will feature again later in the season with Prom 49: A Celebration of Rodgers and Hammerstein, on 22 August 2010.

Marking 50 years since the death of Oscar Hammerstein II, the lyricist whose partnership with Richard Rodgers resulted in a series of hit musicals, the special concert will feature excerpts from the movie orchestrations of Carousel, Flower Drum Song, Oklahoma!, The King and I and The Sound of Music.

Performers will include Kim Criswell, Anna Jane Casey, Julian Ovenden, Rod Gilfry, the Maida Vale Singers and the John Wilson Orchestra.


Stephen Sondheim's 80th, which was on 22 March this year, will also be marked in a special edition of the The South Bank Show Revisited, due to be broadcast on Sunday (25 April 2010).

The American composer has appeared on the show twice before, first in 1980 when working on Sweeney Todd, and in 1984 when The South Bank Show invited him to take a master class with students of the Guildhall School of Performing Arts.

The South Bank Show Revisited includes clips from the current Broadway productions of A Little Night Music starring Catherine Zeta Jones and his classic West Side Story, as well as archive footage from the earlier South Bank Shows. Sondheim discusses his extraordinary work in the world of the musical, and talks in depth about the construct of his music, citing Sweeney Todd, which is still one of his most well known and successful musicals.