(File photo of Siri Vik, by Paul Carter for Eugene Scene)

Edited by Randi Bjornstad

Eugene chanteuse Siri Vik continues her exploration of Broadway music on June 1 and 2 with a program called 16xSondheim, meaning that she will perform 16 songs that Stephen Sondheim has created — music and lyrics — during his half-century of creating for musical theater.

In announcing her show, Vik says that Sondheim’s songs “have schooled me vocally — but what they say teaches me a lot about performing and art, also about relationships (and) life.”

She chose the songs for this concert both because they resonate with her personally, but also because they trace Sondheim’s own career of creating for Broadway.

Because of both talent and presence, Sondheim’s career took off early, jump-started by his collaborations with lyricist Oscar Hammerstein. He had a hand in creating for many heady shows, such as West Side Story with Leonard Bernstein, Gypsy with Jule Styne, Do I Hear a Waltz with Richard Rodgers.

Sondheim was born in 1930 and died at 91 in 2021. His real arc to fame began when he was barely 32 years old when his music and lyrics had their Broadway debut in 1962 in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, winning two Tony Awards, for Best Musical and Best Author of a Musical.

That was followed by Anyone Can Whistle in 1964, Saturday Night (1968), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1975), Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1983), Assassins (1990), Passion (1994),  Getting Away with Murder (1997), Road Show (2008), Sondheim on Sondheim (2010).

And there were creations that played elsewhere, including movies, television and radio, but not on Broadway.

Vik has chosen to perform a wide variety of Sondheim hits that represent not only Broadway but other mediums for which he created his musical works. In choosing her selections, she said she was reminded “how challenging, acerbic, clever, playful, and breathtakingly smart Sondheim’s music is.”

At the same time, she said, she probably didn’t fully realize “the breadth and depth of its humility, kindheartedness, and generosity of spirit.”

16 By Sondheim with Siri Vik at The Shedd

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 1; and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2, 2024

Where: Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd Institute for the Arts, 868 High St., Eugene

Tickets: $18, $24, $28, $32; some discounts apply for groups and students; available at the box office, 541-434-7000, or online at theshedd.org