Born in Los Angeles, Richard Kaufman began his musical life at the age of seven as a violinist. He played in the Peter Meremblum California Junior Symphony where he began conducting at the age of eleven. He continued his education, earning a B.A. in Music from California State University at Northridge, attending the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood, Massachusetts, in the Fellowship Program, and as a violinist in the Debut Orchestra of the Young Musicians Foundation. In 1991, he conducted the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra in the premiere recording of the Concerto for Viola and Orchestra by Miklós Rózsa, as well as film and classical works by American composer Lee Holdridge. This recording received the 1993 Grammy Award in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Performance. Richard Kaufman has conducted various symphony orchestras throughout the United States including Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Detroit, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, The Brevard Music Center, and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Orange County, California. He has conducted the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, Japan, and the Vancouver Symphony in Canada. He has also conducted for various gifted performers including John Denver, Andy Williams, Mary Martin, Robert Merrill, Nanette Fabray, David Copperfield, Juliet Prowse, and Neil Sedaka. He served as music associate to Lionel Newman at Twentieth Century Fox before joining Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as music ordinator in 1984. He became director of music in 1987, and vice president of television music in 1991. In 1994, Kaufman received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for the animated series, The Pink Panther. As a unique part of his career in film, Richard Kaufman has coached various actors in instrumental, vocal, and conducting roles, including Jack Nicholson, Armand Assante, Dudley Moore, Tom Hanks, and Susan Sarandon. He also played violin on numerous film and television scores, including Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.