Richard Kaufman has devoted much of his musical life to conducting and supervising music for film and television productions, as well as performing film and classical music in concert halls and on recordings. The 2014-15 concert season marks his twenty-fourth year as Principal Pops Conductor of Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, and he holds the permanent title of Pops Conductor Laureate of the Dallas Symphony. He is in his tenth season conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert series, “CSO at the Movies”.
He regularly appears as a guest conductor with orchestras throughout the United States and around the world including Cleveland, St. Louis, San Francisco, Liverpool, Australia and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
In addition to conducting “traditional” concert presentations, he often leads performances of complete film scores in concert, synchronizing the music to the actual film as it is shown on the screen above the orchestra. These include The Wizard of Oz, Psycho, Casablanca, The Bride of Frankenstein, Pirates of the Caribbean, Vertigo, Fantasia, and the legendary MGM musical, Singin’ in the Rain.
Richard received the 1993 Grammy Award in the category of "Best Pop Instrumental Performance". Other recordings include two CDs each with the London Symphony Orchestra, Nuremberg Symphony, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the Brandenburg Philharmonic Potsdam.
He has conducted for performers including John Denver, Andy Williams, The Beach Boys, Nanette Fabray and the Righteous Brothers.
As a violinist, he performed on numerous film and television scores including "Jaws", “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, and (in a moment of desperation) "Animal House". He has recorded with artists including John Denver, Burt Bacharach, The Carpenters, and Ray Charles.
Richard supervised music at MGM studios for eighteen years, receiving two Emmy Award nominations. As a unique part of his career, he has coached various actors in musical film roles including Jack Nicholson, Dudley Moore, and Tom Hanks.
Born in Los Angeles, Richard began violin studies at age 7. He received the "Distinguished Alumni Award" from his alma mater, California State University at Northridge, where, as a student, he composed the Alma Mater and Fight Song. He is a member of the Music Advisory Boards of the Young Musicians Foundation, and the Film Music Foundation.
Richard lives in Southern California with his wife, Gayle, a former dancer in film, television and on Broadway. His daughter, actress/singer Whitney Claire Kaufman, was a member of the cast of the National Tour of “Mama Mia”.
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