GRAMMY Buzz in Audio Aesthetics & Technology

ST. LOUIS, MO (Feb. 16, 2015) When the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) won a GRAMMY for Best Orchestral Performance on Sunday, Feb. 8 it made the front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and created a buzz on social media. It also created quite a buzz in the School of Communications (SOC), particularly in the Audio Aesthetics and Technology department (AA&T).

The symphony won the GRAMMY for John Adams’ “City Noir,” an album recorded live at Powell Symphony Hall in 2013. As seen in the Feb. 9 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SLSO vice president Adam Crane told music director David Robertson about the GRAMMY win by telephone.  Robertson was in Sydney, Australia at the time. Reportedly, Robertson was excited and acknowledged “everyone involved in this project,” from the orchestra to the recording engineers. That’s where the AA&T department comes in.

Of the recording engineers, Richard King, who has won several GRAMMYs, is the best known. He is also a regular visitor to Webster University. King knows Tim Ryan, assistant professor of Audio Aesthetics and Technology. King was Ryan’s doctoral supervisor in 2010 and 2011 at McGill University. King still teaches at McGill where he chairs the music research department. At Webster, King is an occasional guest lecturer and a regular presenter, panelist, and judge at Audio Engineering Society (AES) events. Ryan refers to King as a “fairy godfather” to students in the AA&T department for the many ways he is willing to help them.

Paul Hennerich, an adjunct faculty member of the SOC since 1997, is another recording engineer on “City Noir.” Hennerich maintains a strong working relationship with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He was a staff member from their 1996-'97 season until 2002 and has since then freelanced for them through his company Pan Galactic.

When asked about the GRAMMY, Hennerich said, “It’s really great that the St. Louis Symphony has been recognized as the great orchestra they are, and for what a phenomenal music director David Robertson is. We’re very, very lucky to have both in the City. I’m really lucky to work with them.”

Hennerich is also an alumnus of Webster University. He graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in lighting design and a minor in sound design. He also took audio production courses in the School of Communications. That’s where Hennerich met AA&T Professor Barry Hufker, who became his mentor.

Because Hennerich has a contract with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to produce a local public radio show every Saturday night, he is sometimes required to coordinate recording needs and broadcast needs. In fact, while the GRAMMY-winning album was being recorded, the orchestra’s performance was being broadcast live. To accomplish this, in addition to Boris Golynskiy, his assistant at Pan Galactic, Hennerich hired Bill Schulenburg and Mariana Mejia Ahrens. Golynskiy is a 2009 SOC alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts degree in audio production. Schulenburg is an SOC adjunct faculty member and Mejia Ahrens is an alumna with a degree in audio production and an emphasis in international audio production.

Richard King, Paul Hennerich, and Boris Golynskiy, received album credit on the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra recording of John Adams’ “City Noir.”

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