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TALASKE | sound thinking

Rick Talaske relishes great soundscapes. The engineer-turned-scientist-turned-acoustician routinely explores the world’s great concert halls and theaters. Surveying a hall’s soaring spaces and elegant architectural expressions, his mind translates a room’s geometry, the character of its surfaces, its materials, and spatial dimensions into acoustic possibilities. Analysis, investigation, and reverence converge to plumb the space’s possibilities — to take away whatever secrets and lessons it might reveal. Talaske is someone who is never satisfied with what he already knows.

Clients expect that Talaske’s rigorous technical and scientific education would result in exacting methodology and specific design standards. He is cheerily unapologetic about what might be experienced as “obsession with sound.” People don’t hire a world-class acoustician to achieve only fair results. What surprises some people is his passionate and enthusiastic advocacy for both performers and audience members. As an avid lover of live performance himself, especially classical music and live theater, he strives to create spaces that enhance live events.

Before founding his own acoustical consulting firm nearly two decades ago, Talaske was a protege of Larry Kirkegaard for 8 years, advancing quickly to senior consultant where he was assigned major design and project management responsibilities for the Portland Center for Performing Arts, Bayfront Center St. Petersburg, Ordway Music Theatre, and many music education facilities.


  • Master of Science in Acoustics, Pennsylvania State University, 1980. Honorary membership in PHI KAPPA PHI for scholastic achievement
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering, University of Michigan, 1976
  • Continuing education in architectural materials, construction contracting, music theory, computer programming, digital signal processing, Spanish, and photography


  • Opened Chicago office of The Joiner-Rose Group 1987; reorganized as Talaske-Joiner Group Inc. (1988), and The Talaske Group, inc. (1990)
  • Acoustics Consultant with senior design and project management responsibilities for Kirkegaard and Associates, Inc. (1980-87)
  • Chairman of Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics for the Acoustical Society of America (1990 – 1993)
  • Co-Editor of three books on concert hall design, theatre design and music facility design (1982 – 1986)
  • President and Board Member for Oak Park River Forest Children’s Chorus (1993 – 2004)
  • Participant in 12-city European Tour with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (1987)
  • Fellow of Acoustical Society of America. Member of USITT, ASOL, ISPA and NASM. Presenter and session chairman for numerous professional conferences.
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