Kansas City Dumps Acoustician

The board in charge of building a $304 million performing arts center in Kansas City has fired Russell Johnson as acoustician, and replaced him with Yasuhisa Toyota of the Japan-based Nagata Acoustics. Johnson is known as the world’s preeminent acoustical designer of large concert halls, and consulted on the new Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and the renovation of Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, among others. The board cited rising costs as a major reason for the change, and also expressed concern with Johnson’s tendency towards using “expensive sound chambers and movable panels” in his recent projects.