Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Richard Kaufman Loves OC


Our next installment of our month-long love letter to Orange County (entitled Why We Love OC) spotlights Richard Kaufman, the Principal Pops Conductor of the Pacific Symphony. Kaufman is a crown jewel of the Orange County arts scene: As a violinist he performed on such film scores as Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind; As a conductor he has conducted such iconic performers as Diana Krall, the Beach Boys and Art Garfunkel; He has recorded with artists such as Ray Charles, The Carpenters and Neil Diamond; As music coordinator at MGM Studios he received two Emmy nominations, one for Outstanding Original Song, and one for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition; He has coached some of the greatest actors of our time for musical roles in film such as Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon and Tom Hanks; He has also conducted numerous musicals and is celebrating 19 years with the Pacific Symphony - a gig he began and the ripe young age of only 14! I could go on and on, but I think you get the general point - this guy is a seriously talented musician and conductor who has chosen to be a part of the flourishing Orange County art scene. That is quite a compliment. 

Without further ado, Richard Kaufman on why he chose OC.

[Richard Kaufman in his native environment of the Renee & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall]

"When I'm asked about my 19 years as Principal Pops Conductor of the Pacific Symphony (I was 14 when I started!!), the music and musicians aren't the only things that make me smile as I think about my years conducting one of the world's great orchestras. Every time I arrive in O.C., it's like a "breath of fresh air."  Now don't laugh, but to me, the sky in O.C. actually feels bigger and bluer than other places. And to say that the ice cream at Han's in Costa Mesa is the best on the planet may be a gross understatement. Above all, the greatest O.C. experience for me is having the extraordinary opportunity to make music in the magnificent Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall for our audiences, which are simply the most enthusiastic and welcoming anywhere."

- Richard Kaufman, Principal Pops Conductor of the Pacific Symphony

Stay tuned for more installments throughout the month of February! 

On my iPod: Nat King Cole's "Stardust"

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