Making Noise Behind The Scenes

For the First Time, the Tonys Recognize Sound Design

June 1st, 2008

keep the focus on the storytelling

"We want to reflect an evolution of the understanding of the sound designer's role, both among artists and in the community at large," Mr. Sherman said. "This is not an award for placing a microphone somewhere. It's about the creation of an aural environment that impacts our relationship to a production, just like any other design..."

...For Lincoln Center Theater's revival of South Pacific the sound designer Scott Lehrer wanted a similar effect. "I always thought it should be done as quietly as possible, to keep the focus on the storytelling," he said at his studio in Chinatown. "It's the difference between the audience being pushed back by the sound and being drawn in."

» read more

Timing is Everything Says Hello, Dolly! Sound Designer Scott Lehrer

October 20th, 2017

Scott Lehrer’s sound designs are recognisably different, distinguished specifically by their provision of highly articulate and intelligible spatial reinforcement to fully engage the audience. “I want the audience to actually hear sound coming from a close approximation of where it is being sung or spoken. I want the band to be rich in sound and coming from different apparent locations in the sound system, so that it is not just a flat mono system. I want the sound to come alive for the audience.”


» read more— ETNow

Who Ever Wrote Swoonier Ballads than Rodgers and Hammerstein?

July 21st, 2017

It’s important to note, too, that while the Opera House has revealed itself to be an acoustical nightmare for rock musicals, the vast space (or its temporary occupants) unable to marry voices and instruments happily.... Courtesy of sound designer Scott Lehrer, the actors don’t have to compete with the robust accompaniment of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. They all manage instead to make beautiful, lyrically crisp music together.

» read more— The Washington Post

Get Out the Hankies for a Sumptuous, Touching 'King and I' at the Pantages

December 19th, 2016

Christopher Gattelli's delightful dance interludes, based on Jerome Robbins’ original choreography, also carry over from the Lincoln Center production, as do the show's superb design elements, including Scott Lehrer's sound and Donald Holder's lighting. 

» read more— Los Angeles Times

The New York Times: Best Theatre Of 2016

December 9th, 2016

the team of designers here—Susan Hilferty and Jason Ardizzone-West (set), Jennifer Tipton (lighting) and Scott Lehrer and Will Pickens (sound)—have made the Gabriels’ kitchen into what feels like a warm corner of never-ending security.

» read more— Live Design

The Sounds Of The 1920s Come To Life In The Front Page

December 8th, 2016

It took us a while to get the ringers to all work properly but now we have the actors with real 1920's era telephones with 1920's era ringer boxes ringing on stage as well. While this may seem like a small part of the bigger picture in terms of the overall sound design, the authentic telephone sounds were the basis for the entire show."

» read more— Live Design

Hazmat Modine: Extra-Deluxe Supreme

July 6th, 2016

Each track reveals surprising nuances that call for repeated listening. Highly recommended.

» read more— Elmore Magazine

Hazmat Modine: Extra-Deluxe-Supreme

June 1st, 2016

Article about album produced and engineered by Scott Lehrer

» read more— RootsWorld

Review: ‘Do I Hear a Waltz?’ at Encores! at City Center in NYC

May 17th, 2016

Scott Lehrer’s sound design is refreshing and helpful. There isn’t a lost lyric or a distorted voice in the large cast of excellent singers.

» read more— DC Metro Theater Arts

Katherine Vamva Presents: Sound Designer Scott Lehrer

April 27th, 2016

Interview with Scott

» read more— Katherine Vamva

Sound Designer for Broadway’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Uses d&b ArrayProcessing for Even Coverage

April 21st, 2016

The current Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof has seen award winning sound designer Scott Lehrer introduce some new audio tools for this emotionally driven musical.

» read more— FOH

City Center Encores

May 5th, 2015

And instead of tech-ing for weeks like on Broadway, tech is a day (or two). 'It’s kind of fun. Guerrilla tech!' says Lehrer. 'One day of tech, one dress rehearsal for 2,500 people and then we go. It’s exciting.'

» read more— Mix

Sound Designer Scott Lehrer Talks CHICAGO, Plea to Tony Awards Committee

November 21st, 2014

Luckily, that technical aspect of the show rests well in the hands of Lehrer, who was there in the beginning, doing live sound mixing, at the City Center Encore's stripped-down revival production of CHICAGO in 1996, which, later that same year, transferred to Broadway.

» read more—

TiMax audio focus for Broadway's Honeymoon in Vegas

August 16th, 2014

As well as onstage vocal localisation, Scott Lehrer and his fellow sound designer Drew Levy were keen to provide properly time- and location-related amplification for the orchestra located deep onstage.

» read more— Out Board

Ears Are Ringing

August 1st, 2014

Working with a range of subtle and sensitive microphones (including one for Nellie Forbush that is, thankfully, shampoo- and waterproof), Lehrer was even able to mix the sound through the dozens of speakers in a way that allowed the singers' voices to arrive at each audience member's ears at the same time.

» read more— Opera News

in 1: the podcast - #21 Scott Lehrer

June 20th, 2014

... the art and craft of Sound Design with the very first recipient of the TONY award for Sound Design of a Musical, Scott Lehrer.

» read more— in 1: the podcast

Diverse Coalition Fights FCC Plan To Sell Wireless Airwaves

July 31st, 2013

Finally, this hour, a cause that brought Broadway to Capitol Hill today, unusual coalition of Broadway theaters, along with representatives from pro sports and churches went to the Hill to advocate for wireless microphones.

» read more— New Hampshire Public Radio

Lucky Guy Sound Design

April 25th, 2013

For Tony-winning sound designer Scott Lehrer (South Pacific), the challenge of creating an aural landscape to accompany the seamy, hard-driving world of Lucky Guy was threefold. The show reunites him with director George C. Wolfe, who had worked with him on Angels in America 20 years ago.

» read more— Studio Live Design

On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

January 8th, 2013

If you were just listening to it for itself, it could be a soothing sound, I think: it's a steady-state sound. And actually, if I recorded that sound and brought it into the studio, dropping down the pitch four octaves, you'd end up having this deep low repetitive sound, like a kettle drum.

» read more— Alexandra Horowitz

Theater craft: Playing it by ear

May 3rd, 2012

Scott Lehrer, the first person ever to win a Tony Award for sound design of a musical, listens for a living.                 Not just to the myriad aural elements that help make up a musical like “Chicago” — the individual singers and musicians and the intricate balance among them. But also to the voices of every interested party, from artists to audience members, who has an opinion on how the show ought to strike the ear.

— The San Diego Union-Tribune

Featured Designer

November 16th, 2011

Scott Lehrer is a featured designer in Robert Cohen's new edition of his best-selling book, Theatre, with updated coverage of theatrical design and production including three new photo essays that feature designers working in theatre today

— McGraw Hill

NY Times Review

November 7th, 2011

The noise of traffic and distant jazz music ... and the apartment's views of sidewalk drama create a sense of a world without walls, both painfully exposed and liberatingly permissive...

— The New York Times

Theatre in Review: That Hopey Changey Thing

November 10th, 2010

Scott Lehrer's restrained sound system includes some intriguing pre-show music cuts.

» read more— Lighting and Sound America

50 Powerful People: 40 More

May 4th, 2010

Pump up the volume for Lehrer, who broke the sound barrier on Broadway in 2008 as the first Tony Award-winner for sound design on a musical…ever!

» read more— Studio Live Design

Theatre in Review: Finnian's Rainbow

November 9th, 2009

Thanks to the total transparency of Scott Lehrer's sound design, this anarchic wordplay is thoroughly comprehensible, even in the chorus numbers…Lehrer's sound design allows you to immerse yourself in Robert Russell Bennett and Don Walker's golden orchestrations.

» read more— Lighting and Sound America

Theatre in Review: Prayer for My Enemy

December 11th, 2008

Scott Lehrer's sound effects cleverly conjure up the gas station setting out of thin air; he also provides solid reinforcement for Nico Muhly's attractive incidental music

» read more— Lighting and Sound America

Theatre in Review: South Pacific

April 29th, 2008

Best of all is Scott Lehrer's stunning sound design, which achieves the finest level of transparency I've even experienced in a Broadway show. Indeed, it appears not to be reinforced at all.

» read more— Lighting and Sound America

South Pacific Soars

April 4th, 2008

Wisely, the director and his sound designer, Scott Lehrer, have managed to create the impression that we are hearing the orchestra and voices practically unamplified.

» read more— Bloomberg

South Pacific Review

April 3rd, 2008

Scott Lehrer deserves plaudits for a sound mix that allows every note of Richard Rodgers' score -- one of the most lush, tuneful and romantic in American musical history -- and every lyric the same brilliant clarity.

» read more— Variety

Alien and Familiar: The Music of Hazmat Modine

October 25th, 2006

Hazmat Modine is a New York band fronted by two harmonica players ... The group's debut CD is Bahamut -- reviewer Banning Eyre says i ts charm lies in how it lends an air of mystery and other-worldliness to familiar sounds.

» read more— All Things Considered

The Sound Designer's Life: Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life

March 1st, 2006

For this project, sound designer Scott Lehrer has put together a FOH sound system that stretches the use of digital audio and audio control for a Broadway production.

— Live Design

Digital Systems Make The Dancer's Life A Little Easier

February 24th, 2006

Scott Lehrer's newest musical project to hit the stage is The Dancer's Life – a celebration of the career of a singer, dancer, actress, and one of America's most beloved stage performers, Chita Rivera.

— Yamaha

Interview: Mary McFadden and Chicago

February 15th, 2006

...We were in Madison, Wisconsin at the new Overture Center, and the house sound man there told me the theatre got tons of compliments on the sound of the show, and zero complaints. It’s like that pretty much everywhere we go.


The Sound of Paper

January 27th, 2005

My creative partner and I have done two demos this year, and now we have samples of two of our musicals ready for any willing ears. We have put in long days with this sound expert, Scott Lehrer, and listened as he turned our work, orchestrating not only the sound of music but the sound of silence.

— Julia Cameron

Streetcar at the Kennedy Center

May 20th, 2004

Scott Lehrer offers a dramatic soundscape with colorful "Nawlins" jazz and lovely music to underscore Blanche’s death speech.

» read more— Metro Weekly

Streetcar at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater

May 13th, 2004

Scott Lehrer's soundscape is at times breathtakingly appropriate, not only with its echoey jazz wafting up from beyond the windows of the apartment but in the sounds of tenement life.

— Potomac Stages

Stereophile Recording of the Month

October 1st, 2003

Recording of October 2003: Private Astronomy

— Stereophile

The Expanding Role of Theater Sound Design

April 22nd, 2003

Sound design is the newest theater art, having typically been something stage managers or electricians saw to before, say, 1970.

— The Village Voice

Nelson, With Love and Squalor - Franny's Way Review

April 2nd, 2002

...New York City functions as a sixth character, a space of anonymity, permissiveness, and stultifying summer heat; its constant cacophony of traffic, music, and street noise suggests endless sultry possibilities...

— The Village Voice

EAW Article

The national tour of the musical production Chicago features a sound system designed to maximize fidelity and intelligibility. In fact, make that two systems.