Russell Johnson

Read Russell Johnson's Sightlines Tribute

DOB: 9/14/1923 Location: Berwick, PA
DOD: 8/7/2007 Location: New York, NY




  • Carnegie Mellon University (1946-1948)
  • Yale University School of Architecture, BA (1948-1951)
  • Yale University School of Architecture graduate school (1951-1954)

Employment history:

  • U. S. Army Signal Corps, PTO (1943-1946)
  • Bolt, Beranek and Newman, architectural acoustics division: Principal consultant, New York office; Founder of BB&N’s Theatre Consulting Division (1954-1970)
  • Founder, Russell Johnson Associates (1970)
  • Founder and Chairman, Artec Consultants Inc. (1971-through the time of his death in 2007)

Editor’s note: Mr. Johnson built Artec into one of the foremost acoustical consulting firms in the world.  With input on over 1,200 projects and over 150 new theatres and concert venues world wide, as well as the training he provided for many of the next generation of acousticians, his influence on the industry was profound.  With so many projects it is hard to single out just a few, but a sampling of the most often celebrated venues includes: Jazz at Lincoln Center, NY, NY (USA); New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ (USA); Centre-in-the-Square, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario (Canada); Lucerne Concert and Congress Centre (Switzerland); Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, TX (USA); the Tanglewood Concert Shell renovation in Massachusetts (USA); City of Birmingham Symphony Hall (England); Grand Theatre de Quebec (Canada): Place des Arts, Montreal (Canada)


  • Author of numerous articles on theatre architecture and acoustics in various periodicals including the USITT journal Theatre Design and Technology.

USITT involvement and offices held:

  • Founding Member
  • Expert speaker and presenter at the first USITT Conference in NYC (1961)
  • Board of Directors
  • Vice President
  • Chair and organizer of the second and third USITT conferences (1962 & 1963)
  • Programming Chair, first USITT conference held outside of New York City (1965)

Awards and Honors:

  • Too numerous to list; Highlights include:
  • Elected USITT Fellow (1996)
  • Fellow: Acoustical Society of America
  • Wallace Clement Sabine Medal: Acoustical Society of America (1997)
  • USITT Award: For outstanding and continued service to the performing arts community (1996)
  • International Citation of Merit: International Society of Performing Arts (1998)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario (Canada) (2003)