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Q&A with Rick Pender, author of 'The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia'

A conversation with one of the world's leading Sondheim experts

If you make a list of the most important names in American culture in the latter half of the 20th Century, Stephen Sondheim has to be right near the top.

When he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, President Obama said “Put simply, Stephen reinvented the American musical." Sondheim passed away on November 26 at the age of 91. Back in April, WUWF's Bob Barrett about the composer with Rick Pender, author of “The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia."

Pender has written for CityBeat, Cincinnati’s alternative newsweekly, since it was founded in 1994. He was the newspaper’s arts and entertainment editor and is currently a contributing editor, reviewing local theater productions. Pender is past chair of the American Theatre Critics Association and was the executive editor and publisher of Everything Sondheim and managing editor of The Sondheim Review.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.