NEW YORK -- Russell Johnson, 83, who designed the acclaimed acoustics for several of the world's leading concert and opera venues, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, died Tuesday in his sleep at his home in New York, according to his firm, Artec Consultations Inc.
Mr. Johnson -- who worked for 15 years with the Cambridge, Mass., firm of Bolt, Beranek, and Newman -- founded Artek in 1970 and served as chairman until his death. He collaborated with architects around the world and was instrumental in shaping contemporary approaches to the design of concert halls, opera houses, theaters, and recital halls.
Performance spaces designed by Artec under his leadership have been acclaimed not only for their impact on individual communities but also on the performing arts world as a whole, said Bibi Khan, a spokeswoman for the company.
Mr. Johnson was responsible for a host of new and renovated concert halls in cities including Dallas; Birmingham, England; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Lucerne, Switzerland; Sao Paulo; Philadelphia; Toronto; Singapore; Miami; and Paris. His firm also worked on the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J., Centre-in-the-Square, in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and the Pikes Peak Center near Colorado Springs, Colo.
Born in Berwick, Pa., in 1923, Mr. Johnson entered the field of acoustics and theater planning after studying architecture at Carnegie-Mellon and Yale universities. Between 1954 and 1970, he worked for Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, founding the theater consulting division, and served as technical coordinator for concert hall and opera house design, including acoustics, Khan said.
He leaves a sister, Barbara Johnson Mansfield. Funeral services will be held in Berwick, Pa., on Aug. 18. A memorial service will be held in New York City at a later date.