Paul Scarbrough, Principal


Paul Scarbrough is an acoustical design professional with over 30 years of experience. Recently he led the Akustiks team in the design of renovations to famed Cincinnati Music Hall, home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops, the May Festival and Cincinnati Opera. He also led the design of the new 1,100-seat hall Concert Hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the principal venue for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In 2006 Paul and his colleagues opened the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, a concert hall that has been called “one of the best auditoriums built in a century.”

In the Fall of 2014, he helped inaugurate the 1,800-seat H-E-B Hall at the Tobin Center in San Antonio. 2015 witnessed the debut of the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, where in 2016 the Spoleto Festival/USA inaugurated its residency with a luminous production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

Paul continues to advise Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic on the redesign of David Geffen Hall (née Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center. Since 2008 he has served as the resident acoustician for the Park Avenue Armory where his work includes both advising on the restoration of this 19th Century New York City landmark and consulting on its cutting edge performing and visual arts programs.

Prior to forming Akustiks in 2001, Paul was a principal at Jaffe Holden Scarbrough Acoustics. During his 17 years with JHS, he was the principal designer for the renovations to Severance Hall for the Cleveland Orchestra, the Concert Hall at the Kennedy Center and the New Amsterdam and New Victory theatres on Broadway. His other project credits include the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall and the Whitaker Center for Arts and Sciences in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Paul has developed effective working partnerships with a broad array of architects and theater planners. His formal training in architecture allows him to appreciate a diverse range of architectural styles and to engage in the design process in a constructive and collaborative fashion. He is deeply interested in the process of making great architecture and believes that the very best projects result from a seamless integration of architecture and acoustics.

Paul has focused attention on several specialized areas within acoustics, including extensive studies to better understand how musicians hear on stage. His work resulted in advances that were incorporated into the designs for Severance Hall and the Hilbert Circle Theater in Indianapolis. He is also a specialist in the acoustical accommodations for pipe organs.

Paul studied architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He served on the faculties of the 1999, 2010 and 2014 Summer Institutes of the Acoustical Society of America and has been a guest critic and lecturer at Yale University. He holds memberships in the Acoustical Society of America and Britain’s Institute of Acoustics. When not on the road traveling to assignments, he works as a train conductor at the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat and is an avid bicyclist.

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