Obituary: Boston acoustician and arts philanthropist Leo Beranek, 102

Posted on: October 17, 2016

“Leo Beranek, a National Medal of Science recipient who was a founder of the Cambridge-based acoustics consulting firm Bolt Beranek and Newman, died Monday in Westwood at 102,” writes Hiawatha Bray and Bryan Marquard in Friday’s (10/14) Boston Globe. “His death was announced by WCVB-TV, which he helped found in 1972. … Dr. Beranek also was a leading philanthropist for major arts institutions, particularly the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and he served as president of the Cambridge-based American Academy of Arts and Sciences…. His work in acoustics … created a lasting legacy, through improved concert venues in Boston, at Tanglewood, and around the world…. At the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Beranek formerly chaired the Trustees and was a founding member and former chairman of the Board of Overseers…. In 1982, Dr. Beranek and his wife, Phyllis, gave the symphony $1 million [agreeing] to let the BSO publicize his donation in hopes it would spur other entrepreneurs to donate more lavishly to the arts…. ‘He was … a true patron of the arts—specifically music, especially here at Boston’s Symphony Hall,’ [said BSO Managing Director] Mark Volpe.” Beranek leaves his wife, the former Gabriella Sohn, two sons, and a granddaughter.

Posted October 17, 2016