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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Communications
(714) 876-2380

Pacific Symphony Announces Richard Kaufman's Final Season As Principal Pops Conductor And Celebration Of His Tenure

Orange County, CA — March 08, 2019

Kaufman To Assume New Role As Principal Pops Conductor Laureate

Pacific Symphony Music Director Carl St.Clair announced today that Richard Kaufman will conclude his tenure as principal Pops conductor in May 2020 and will be named principal Pops conductor laureate beginning in 2020-21. Kaufman has served in the role of principal Pops conductor since 1990. During the 2019-20 season, Kaufman will conduct two SummerFest concerts and four Pops concerts.

Music Director Carl St.Clair thanked Kaufman for his three decades guiding the Pops series:  “Much the way that I curate our classical series, Richard has curated our Pops series, introducing new, innovative and exciting music to Orange County audiences and bringing a stability to the series that other orchestras can only dream about. He is a great and supportive colleague. I look forward to continuing my relationship with him as our principal Pops conductor laureate.”

Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte said “Under Richard’s extraordinary leadership, Pacific Symphony has created one of the country’s best-selling and most celebrated Pops series and we have to recognize Richard for all his contributions to its unprecedented growth and success. His knowledge of film and popular music, his wit and flair have charmed audiences and established him as a Pops conductor in demand worldwide. Naturally, we will celebrate this legacy during the upcoming season with dynamic Pops concerts. But we also look forward to a continuing relationship for many seasons to come.”

“I am deeply grateful to Carl St. Clair, the extraordinary musicians, and the entire Pacific Symphony family for the privilege of being part of three decades of music-making in Orange County,” said Kaufman. “I am especially honored to have held the title of the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation principal Pops conductor, and that, as principal Pops conductor laureate, I will continue my relationship with Pacific Symphony for many years.”

Kaufman came to Pacific Symphony in 1990. Since then, he has developed ongoing relationships with numerous orchestras including Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, the Boston Pops and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He recently made his conducting debut with the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. Kaufman is in his 15th season conducting the “CSO at the Movies” series with the Chicago Symphony and holds the permanent title of Pops conductor laureate with the Dallas Symphony. For 18 years, he supervised music for MGM, receiving two Emmy nominations. Kaufman received the 1993 Grammy Award in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Performance.


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