Richard Kaufman

Conductor Principal Pops Conductor Laureate for Pacific Symphony
Richard Kaufman

Richard Kaufman has devoted much of his musical life to conducting and supervising music for film and television productions, as well as conducting film and classical music in concert and on recordings.  He is in his thirty-second season with Pacific Symphony where he was recently given the permanent title of Principal Pops Conductor Laureate. Kaufman is in his nineteenth season with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the concert film series, CSO at the Movies. He holds the permanent title of Pops Conductor Laureate with the Dallas Symphony.

Kaufman regularly appears as a guest conductor with orchestras throughout the world, conducting a wide variety of musical genres, and often conducts entire film scores live to film. The 2023-24 concert season includes return engagements with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (two appearances), The Cleveland Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (in concert and recording). He will also make his conducting debut with the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Austria.

Kaufman received the 1993 Grammy Award in the Best Pop Instrumental Performance category, and has recorded with the London, Nuremberg, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, and with the Brandenburg Philharmonic Potsdam. He has conducted for a who’s-who of performers including John Denver, Andy Williams, Nanette Fabray, the Beach Boys, and Amy Grant.

Kaufman joined the music department of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and for almost two decades, supervised music for all of MGM’s television and animation projects, receiving Emmy nominations for the animated series “The Pink Panther” and “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” As a studio violinist, he played violin on numerous film scores including “Jaws”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Saturday Night Fever”, and in a moment of desperation, “Animal House”. Kaufman has also coached various actors in musical roles, including Jack Nicholson, Dudley Moore, and Tom Hanks.

As a studio violinist, Kaufman performed on numerous film and television scores, and recorded and performed with artists including John Denver, Andy Williams, Burt Bacharach, the Carpenters, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra.

Born in Los Angeles, Richard Kaufman began violin studies at age seven, was a member of the Peter Meremblum California Junior Symphony, the YMF Debut Orchestra, and the Fellowship program at Tanglewood.  A graduate of California State University, Northridge, Kaufman received the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University.  He also composed the Alma Mater and Fight Song for CSUN.

His wife, Gayle, is a former dancer-actress in film, television, and on Broadway, and his daughter, Whitney, is a successful singer and actress.

Richard Kaufman is proud to be represented by Opus 3 Artists.