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By Guytano Parks

kaufman-richard-by-eric-stonerA near–capacity crowd filled the pavilion and lawn at Blossom Music Center on Sunday evening when The Cleveland Orchestra presented Hollywood Under The Stars.  Conducted by Richard Kaufman, in his 24th year as principal pops conductor with Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, the concert  included music by some of the most respected and revered film composers of our time.

“Hooray for Hollywood” appropriately opened the program in an invigorating and colorful arrangement by John Williams. Kaufman’s direct, no–nonsense conducting served this syncopated and accented score well, for toe–tapping and hum–along music. Read the rest of this entry »


by Robert Rollin

Pixar-in-ConcertThe Cleveland Orchestra closed its Blossom Festival summer season on August 31 and September 1 with two performances of Pixar in Concert. I attended the Saturday performance, a delightful evening conducted by Richard Kaufman. Kaufman was for eighteen years music coordinator at MGM, supervising both film and television projects. He is now an active pops conductor.

Pixar, the most innovative animation company in recent years, has had a remarkable succession of hits since Toy Story (1995), and the evening concentrated on the quality film music that has helped usher in this new era. Several enormous screens projected the film visuals. Pixar’s skill has been in humanizing digital animation characters, whether children’s toys, monsters, fish, automobiles, insects, or rats, by giving them personalities, endearing expressions, and showing them in life and death struggles to fight the good fight simply to do what is morally right.

Kaufman skillfully coordinated the correlation of music with the films’ visual actions. Though a few musicians wore earphones providing click tracks to maintain ensemble, the large majority relied on Kaufman’s clear beat to stay together. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Kaufman,-Richard---by-Eric-StonerI’ve been very blessed,” conductor Richard Kaufman says of his impressive musical career — most of which he has devoted to conducting and supervising music for film and television productions, as well as performing film and classical music in concert halls and on recordings. On Saturday, August 31, and Sunday, September 1, at Blossom Music Center, Richard Kaufman will lead The Cleveland Orchestra in Pixar in Concert. The production includes musical selections from A Bug’s Life, Brave, Cars and Cars 2, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and 3, Ratatouille, Up, and WALL·E along with video clips of each film. Both concerts will be followed by fireworks, weather permitting.

I was part of the team that created the show at Disney and this weekend’s program is a montage of the 13 Pixar films’ music.” Kaufman points out that performing live to animation is not an easy task. “I have to say that I have played violin for many film scores but I think that playing for animation is by far the most challenging. In animation everything moves very quickly: you have to be able to turn on a dime. In the studio all the musicians use click-tracks but this weekend only part of the orchestra will be using click-tracks. And the fact that The Cleveland Orchestra is going to be playing this music on two summer evenings at Blossom is truly wonderful. It’s like all of the Planets have aligned.”

Born in Los Angeles, Kaufman began studying the violin at the age of seven. “There were amazing music programs in LA when I was growing up and my youth orchestra would often play arrangements of film scores right along with the music of Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. Read the rest of this entry »

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