Monster of a movie: Kaufman and Pacific take on ‘Jurassic Park’

By TIMOTHY MANGAN

Richard Kaufman, Principal Pops Conductor of Pacific Symphony, answered the door of his classic Encino ranch house the other day in his bare feet and khaki shorts. When he’s not conducting symphony orchestras around the world in live performances of film scores with the movie screened synchronously, Kaufman, 69, works in a home office equipped with a large desk, on which sits a giant computer monitor to watch the film he’s working on and the score to same.

The room is filled with papers and scores and mementos, including a framed photograph of Kaufman, a veteran of the Hollywood studios, coaching Jack Nicholson on the violin for his starring role in “The Witches of Eastwick.” (Those are Kaufman’s hands you see playing the piano in the scene in which Susan Sarandon’s cello bursts into flames.)

His current project is “Jurassic Park,” which he’ll conduct for the first time Saturday (Aug. 19) with Pacific Symphony at Pacific Amphitheatre. To demonstrate his duties, he flips on the movie to the scene where a T-Rex is chasing a jeep — pure mayhem — and conducts the score, which he has marked up with brightly colored highlighters. Meters and tempos change suddenly. A click track sets the pace. Both he and the orchestra will listen to it on headphones during the performance.

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Program for a John Williams concert

Pacific Symphony and conductor Richard Kaufman pay tribute to the great film composer in celebration of his 85th birthday tonight and tomorrow at Segerstrom Concert Hall. The program hasn’t been widely disseminated so I post it in its entirely below.

Liberty Fanfare
Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan
Midway March
Jim’s New Life from Empire of the Sun
Harry’s Wondrous World from Harry Potter
Sayuri’s Theme from Memoirs of a Geisha (Wakahisakai, Japanese Classical Dancers)
Selections from Star Wars:
Forest Battle from Return of the Jedi
March of the Resistance and Rey’s Theme from The Force Awakens
Main Theme from Star Wars
Jurassic Park
Sugarland Express
(Bernie Fields, harmonica)
Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra from
Indiana Jones
Marion’s Theme and Raiders March from
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Devil’s Dance from The Witches of Eastwick
Flying Theme from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Tickets here.