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 19th season with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra film series, CSO at the Movies. He holds the permanent title of pops conductor laureate with the Dallas Symphony, and is in his 32nd season with Pacific Symphony, where he was recently given the permanent title of principal pops conductor laureate.

Kaufman regularly appears as a guest conductor with orchestras throughout the world, conducting a wide variety of musical genres, and often conducts entire movie scores live to film. The 2023-2024 concert season includes return engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He will make his conducting debut with the Tonkuenstler 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 many film scores, including “Jaws” (1974), “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977), “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) and in a moment of desperation, “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978). Kaufman has also coached various actors in musical roles, including Jack Nicholson, Dudley Moore and Tom Hanks.

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

Born in Los Angeles, Kaufman began violin studies at age 7, 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 at Northridge, Kaufman received its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. He also composed the alma mater and fight songs for Cal State Northridge.

His wife, Gayle, is a former dancer-actress in film, television and on Broadway, and his daughter, Whitney, is a successful singer and actress. He is proud to be represented by Opus 3 Artists.

April 2023


Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.