Past meetings of the Society
June 2004

Time: 6 PM, Sunday, June 20, 2004
Place: Killian Hall, Hayden Library, Building 14, MIT Campus, Cambridge MA
Featured Guests: John F. Allen, Leo Beranek, David Griesinger, Glen KnicKrehm, Jonathan McPhee, Stephen Owades
Topic: "A Panel Discussion of Concert Hall Acoustics."

John F. Allen will moderate a sure-to-be-lively discussion on the sound of concert halls and it affects the performers and audience. This very special meeting features a blue ribbon panel of experts and enthusiasts that is sure to enlighten and entertain. It is an open meeting, all are invited.

John F. Allen is the founder and president of High Performance Stereo in Newton, Mass. In addition, he serves as the sound director of the Boston Ballet. He is also the inventor of the HPS-4000® motion picture sound system and in 1984 was the first to bring digital sound to the cinema. He is a 1973 graduate of Northeastern University, where he attended both the engineering and business colleges. He is a member of the Boston Audio Society, the Audio Engineering Society and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Leo Beranek received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell College (Iowa) in 1936 and his Doctor of Science from Harvard University in 1940. During World War II he headed the Electro-Acoustic Laboratory at Harvard. He served as Associate Professor of Communications Engineering at MIT from 1947 to 1958 and Technical Director of its Acoustics Laboratory. From 1952 to 1971 he was President of Bolt Beranek and Newman, one of the world's largest acoustical consulting firms. A lifelong interest in music, led him to specialize on concert hall and opera house acoustics. Following trips to over 100 of the worlds leading halls and interviews of over a hundred conductors and music critics, he wrote three books on Concert and Opera Halls--the most recent completely revised edition is Concert Halls and Opera Houses: Music, Acoustics, and Architecture (Springer-Verlag 2004). Recently he has been Acoustical Consultant for four concert halls, one opera house and two drama theaters in Tokyo and has been consultant on many other concert halls, including the Tanglewood Music Shed in Western Massachusetts, the Aula Magna in Caracas, and the Meyerhoff Hall in Baltimore. He has received numerous awards, including Gold Medals from the Acoustical Society of America and the Audio Engineering Society, Honorary Membership in the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. President's National Medal of Science in 2003 and the Per Bruel Gold Medal of the A.S.M.E in 2004.

David Griesinger is a physicist who works in the field of sound and music. In his undergraduate years at Harvard he began working as a recording engineer, a side occupation which continues to teach him the tremendous importance of room acoustics to recording technique. He developed one of the first digital reverberation devices, which eventually became the Lexicon 224 reverberator. Since then Griesinger has been the principle scientist at Lexicon, and is chiefly responsible for the algorithm design of their reverberation and surround sound products. He has conducted research into the perception and measurement of the acoustical properties of concert halls and opera houses, and he designed the LARES concert-hall reverberation enhancement system. Many of Dr. Griesinger's papers and presentations can be found at

Glenn KnicKrehm is the president of Constellation Center, a non-profit organization formed to design, build, and operate a world-class performing arts and film center in Cambridge, MA. An enthusiastic and longtime supporter of early music, cinema, opera, and theater, Mr. KnicKrehm serves on the Board of Directors of the American Repertory Theatre. Mr. KnicKrehm holds a B.S. in Engineering and a MBA from Columbia University. He also holds a B.A. in Physics from Occidental College and has completed the creative fiction-writing program at UCLA, with emphasis on the novel. A native of California, Mr. KnicKrehm has lived in the Boston area since 1973. He competes nationally in ballroom dance.

Jonathan McPhee is equally at home as a conductor for the symphony, ballet, and opera. He is music Director for the Boston Ballet, and has also conducted grand opera with Opera Boston, the American Opera Center in New York, and Boston University Opera. Among the orchestras Mr. McPhee has conducted are the BBC Scottish Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, The Hague Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony. His training includes studies with Leonard Brain, David Diamond, Thomas Stacy, Rudolf Kempe, Sixten Ehrling, and master classes with Sir Georg Solti and James Levine. His recording of the Nutcracker with the Boston Ballet Orchestra has sold 40,000 copies; Sleeping Beauty has just been released.

Stephen Owades is a graduate of MIT with a degree in Music and took a course in Architectural Acoustics taught by Robert Newman. He is a former President of the Boston Audio Society. As a long time member of the Boston Symphony's Tanglewood Festival Chorus he has performed in dozens of concert halls around the world. An avid concert goer, he has first hand experience in evaluating concert halls.

Directions: Killian Hall is in Hayden Memorial Library, Building 14, on the MIT Campus. It is on Memorial Drive, east of Mass Ave and just west of Ames St. Parking is on the street. From the West: Go east on Storrow Drive, exit for The Fenway (after Boston University), and at the 2nd intersection turn left on Marlborough St. Go 1 block, staying straight at the fork, and turn left on Mass Ave. Cross the Charles River and Memorial Drive and begin looking for parking. Turn right on Vassar St. and right on Main st and right on Ames St. Then right on Memorial Drive. Hayden is a modernistic building on your right, after bldg 50. If you enter from the southwest corner of Hayden, the hall is on your left. Note that parking is limited. The meeting location is convenient to the Kendall Square Red Line T station, and to the Harvard Square/Dudley bus line. Parking at outlying T stations (Alewife, Braintree) is ample on a Sunday evening but earplugs are recommended on the Red Line, especially for the small-bore tunnel between Alewife and Harvard.


The Boston Audio Society
PO BOX 260211
Boston MA 02126

problems? email Barry:

updated 11/11/04