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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller “Vertigo” comes to Pacific Symphony Pops as the orchestra performs Bernard Herrmann’s hypnotic score live!

Orange County, Calif. — April 02, 2015

Out of more than 58 films that Alfred Hitchcock directed in his lifetime, “Vertigo” stands out as one of the best for its suspense, innovative camera use and haunting memorable score, making it an ideal choice for Pacific Symphony Pops to reinvigorate by performing the soundtrack live! During a symphonic night at the movies, the colorfully enhanced 1958 film plays on the big screen as Bernard Herrmann’s hypnotic score is recreated by the orchestra, led by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman. Set in the hustle and bustle of San Francisco in the late 1950s, the romantic thriller stars James Stewart and Kim Novak, who were both praised for their performances. (Stewart won multiple awards for his role.) Driven by the motif of obsession, the film follows the life of retired detective John “Scottie” Ferguson, who suffers from a fear of heights and vertigo. After being reengaged to follow his friend’s wife, Ferguson begins to fall dangerously in love with her.

The Symphony’s screening of “Vertigo” takes place Thursday-Saturday, April 30–May 2, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $35-$160, Box Circle $185. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“I am an enthusiastic fan of the films of Alfred Hitchcock,” says Maestro Kaufman. “They are incredibly captivating because of his unique style of storytelling. The characters, the action, the look of the film itself, and of course the music…Hitchcock brings all these elements together in a way that make him one of the greatest directors in the history of motion pictures.”

From the very beginning, the recognizable “Prelude and Rooftop” puts the audience on edge. The music is built around the spirals that Scottie experiences due to his vertigo, and the rhythms and melodies mimic this circular motion. “Vertigo” is one of eight artistic collaborations between Hitchcock and Herrmann, who also worked together on the films “Psycho,” “The Birds,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “The Trouble with Harry,” “The Wrong Man,” “North By Northwest” and “Marnie.” The score to the 2011 film, “The Artist,” an ode to cinema, included a lift of the “love theme” from “Vertigo,” and subsequently won the Oscar for Best Score. Critics and film enthusiasts still talk about the film and its impact on today’s cinematography. The film ranked No. 9 in American Film Institute’s 100 greatest American movies of all time (10th anniversary edition) and No. 1 in AFI’s 10 Top 10 Mysteries.

“‘Vertigo’ is Bernard Herrmann at his best,” says Maestro Kaufman, who has been working in the motion-picture industry for more than 30 years. “The score actually becomes another ‘character’ in the film, and without it, the story and the characters would never come to life as they do when Bernard Herrmann’s music is present. Hearing and seeing the score played live in synchronization with the film is like attending the actual recording sessions for the score.  Very few people have the opportunity to have that unique and thrilling experience.”

Kaufman joined MGM studios as music coordinator in 1984 and oversaw all television projects. While with MGM, he received two Emmy Award nominations, one as music director for the animated series “The Pink Panther” and another as co-author of outstanding original song for the series “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” As a session violinist, Kaufman has performed on numerous film and television scores, including “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Saturday Night Fever” and “Animal House.” In addition to his 24 years as principal pops conductor with Pacific Symphony, Kaufman also regularly performs classic and contemporary film music as guest conductor with orchestras across the country.

The Saturday, May 2, concert is generously sponsored by Nancy and Rich Muth, ORCO Block Company. The Symphony’s Pops series receives additional support from American Airlines, The Westin South Coast Plaza, K-Earth 101 and PBS SoCal.