Forsyth, Michael 1951–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Forsyth, Michael 1951–

(Michael de Jong Forsyth)

PERSONAL: Born November 26, 1951, in Tyneside, England; son of Eric (an executive) and Lucy Forsyth; married Vera Papaxanthou (an architect), September 20, 1975 (divorced); children: James Alexander, Antonia Caroline, Henrietta Louise. Ethnicity: "White." Education: University of Liverpool, B.A. (with honors), 1973, B.Arch. (with honors), 1975; resident at British School at Rome, 1975–76; University of Bristol, D.Phil., 1984. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, trail-running.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Architect in the U.S. Virgin Islands and in Gothenburg, Sweden, 1972–73; Arthur Erickson Architects and Parkin Partnership, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, architect, 1976–79; University of Bristol, Bristol, England, lecturer in architecture, 1979–84, research fellow in drama, 1984–90; special lecturer in theater architecture, 1990–98; University of Bath, Bath, Somerset, England, director of studies, for Master of Science degree course in the conservation of historical buildings, 1998–. Architects' Registration Board, member; Forsyth Chartered Architects, director, 1979–2002; Plato Consortium Ltd., member of board of directors, 1983–2002; British School at Rome, member of selection board for Rome Prize in architecture, 1987–93; Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery, chair, 1995–2000. British Broadcasting Corp., radio and television broadcaster; violinist.

MEMBER: Chelsea Arts Club.

AWARDS, HONORS: Rome Prize in architecture, 1975; Deems Taylor Award, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, 1986, for Buildings for Music: The Architect, the Musician, and the Listener from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day.

WRITINGS:

Buildings for Music: The Architect, the Musician, and the Listener from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1985.

Auditoria: Designing for the Performing Arts, Van Nostrand (New York, NY), 1987.

Bath (architectural guide), Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2003.

(Editor) Historic Building Conservation: Understanding Conservation, Blackwell Publishing (Malden, MA), 2007.

(Editor) Historic Building Conservation: Materials and Skills, Blackwell Publishing (Malden, MA), 2007.

(Editor) Historic Building Conservation: Structure and Construction, Blackwell Publishing (Malden, MA), 2007.

Contributor to The Dictionary of Art. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Architects Journal and Classical Music.

Buildings for Music has been translated into Italian, French, Japanese, and German.

SIDELIGHTS: Michael Forsyth once told CA: "My aim in writing on auditorium design and history has been to heighten the listener's awareness—as well as that of the auditorium designer—of the relationship between music and the spatial ambience in which it is performed. While working as an architect on the design of Toronto's new concert hall it had been apparent to me that there were no books that explained musical acoustics in a nontechnical form. Surprisingly, too, there was no published history of concert halls as a building type. My first book, Buildings for Music: The Architect, the Musician, and the Listener from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day, assesses how musical demands have influenced the evolution of concert halls and opera houses and, conversely, how the building form and its acoustics have influenced the historical development of music. Auditoria: Designing for the Performing Arts illustrates for the designer and architectural student a variety of solutions for single and dual-purpose halls."

He added: "Following several years of architectural practice concerning historic auditoria and other buildings, I have developed a particular interest in architectural conservation. I have also created a new postgraduate degree course in the conservation of historic buildings at Bath University. This is the subject of my recent books, in which I examine the evolving philosophy of architectural conservation and current techniques for survey, assessment, and repair."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 2, 1986, review of Buildings for Music: The Architect, the Musician, and the Listener from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day.

New York Times Book Review, October 13, 1985, review of Buildings for Music.

Times Literary Supplement, April 25, 1986, review of Buildings for Music.