Remembering Pearl Kaufman

We are saddened to learn today of the passing of the incredibly talented and prolific pianist, Pearl Kaufman. In 2015, the Academy of Scoring Arts welcomed Pearl as our guest, in conversation with Mike Lang, discussing her illustrious recording career in Hollywood as pianist in high demand by many classic film composers.  She played on over 260 film scores including those by Maurice Jarre, Henry Mancini, John Williams, Franz Waxman, Elmer Bernstein, Bernard Herrmann and many more. She performed with Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky, with whom she also recorded.

Pearl was a mentor to many, teaching piano even into recent years. She was loved by all who knew her, and is greatly missed. Her family will hold a celebration of Pearl’s life in the coming months.

The photo above shows Pearl in a session and consulting with Igor Stravinsky. The photo to the right shows Pearl at a recording session while composers Franz Waxman and Alfred Newman take turns conducting the studio orchestra.


Pearl Kaufman…a gifted and magical person who gave so much to so many…for me, the dearest friend one could have…

Ever since we met…around 1967 or so, when I called her, became her student, and, with her support, built a connection to being a part of the LA recording scene, Pearl was there for me. (To start with, she introduced me to Lalo Schifrin, the first composer to hire me to do recording work.)

She was an amazing musician…a star soloist on so many movies for the best composers, Igor Stravinsky’s pianist-of-choice for his recordings in Los Angeles, a major contributor to 1st performances of new music (Monday Evening Concerts) and more…

We have been so close in recent years (she decided recently that she was my Sister! ❤️), and I, along with so many of you, will miss her dearly.

Mike Lang