Celebrating the Life of Richard Pilbrow

Today as we order his newest released book “A Sense of Theatre: The Untold Stories of the Creation of Britain’s National Theatre”, we remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Richard Pilbrow, a true pioneer in the world of theatre and lighting design. His innovative vision and passion transformed stages around the world, illuminating countless performances with his creative genius.
AD Principal, David Kahn, first met Richard Pilbrow in 1985 while he was working with acoustician Russell Johnson. He quickly learned to appreciate the incredible synergy between Richard and Russell and how their collaboration revolutionized performing arts center design. Together, they helped David discover why magic happens in great historic theaters and concert halls, why that magic was lost in mid-20th century venues, and how to recapture that magic in a contemporary setting.
For the last nearly 40 years, David has had the privilege to continue these high-level discussions with Richard as they navigated new venue designs with architects and industry professionals. Just last year, at his 90th birthday party (pictured below), they brainstormed a novel design approach for a new concert hall in London with a very limited available building footprint.
Richard’s work not only set new standards in theatre design but also inspired generations of designers to push the boundaries of their craft. His contributions will forever shine brightly in the history of theatre.