Leo Beranek comes to Sydney University

12 July 2010

World famous acoustician Dr Leo Beranek will be giving a special presentation at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on August 19.

In his only free public lecture in Australia, Dr Beranek will discuss the link between the different musical stylistic periods and the architectural spaces, and resultant acoustical environment, available for the performance of music. He will also explore the background to the physical determination of the behaviour of sound in rooms, and the principal acoustical attributes of concert halls.

The public lecture, held at the Conservatorium's Verbrugghen Hall, is hosted by the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, one of only a few architecture schools in the world to include a specialisation in audio and acoustical design.

"We are very excited to have someone of Leo Beranek's stature come to open up such an interesting part of the acoustics discipline to a wide audience," Professor William Martens, Head of Architectural Sciences and lecturer in the Audio and Acoustics program, said, adding that "Dr Beranek has been a leader in the acoustics field for over seventy years and this is a rare opportunity to hear from someone who has been a key thinker in an evolving field for so long."

"Dr Beranek also manages to communicate his encyclopaedic knowledge of this field in a way that makes it palatable to both professional and lay audience members, so this talk is really for everyone who has ever sat in and enjoyed a concert hall performance and wondered how the acoustics of the event worked."

Dr Beranek received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1940, and was Associate Professor of Communications Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1947 until 1958. He was the company president of Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) from 1952-71, then one of the world's largest acoustical consulting firms. His writing on general acoustics and auditorium acoustics are considered classic texts in their fields. In recent years he has been the acoustical consultant for a number of auditoria in Tokyo as well as receiving numerous awards, including the U.S. President's National Medal of Science in 2003.

This special event will be held at the Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music on August 19 from 6.30 to 8.00pm.

Preceding the lecture will be a short recital by Stephanie McCallum (piano) and Peter Jenkin (clarinet) who will be performing a Brahms Sonata. Tickets are free of charge but to register please contact the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning on 02 9351 4648.

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The lecture is proudly sponsored by ARUP.

For media enquiries:

Contact: John Elliott

Phone: 02 9351 7591

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