German conductor Christian Reif joined the San Francisco Symphony as their Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the internationally acclaimed SanFrancisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) in the 2016-17 season, after making a “powerful symphony debut” (San Fransisco Chronicle) with the Symphony in fall 2015. He came to San Francisco from Miami, where he was the Conducting Fellow with the New World Symphony for the previous two seasons. Christian Reif is currently a member of Germany's prestigious Conductor's Forum (Dirigentenforum) and was accepted to their list of “Maestros of Tomorrow”.
Highlights of Mr. Reif’s 2016-17 season include leading the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in the opening concert of the International Festival Heidelberger Frühling, performing Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony and Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” with Michelle DeYoung and Toby Spence. He also lead the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Berkeley Symphony in critically acclaimed concerts.
Additionally to his duties as the SFS Resident Conductor, Christian lead the Symphony in a concert version of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and curated its March Soundbox concerts, titled “Rebel” featuring music by composers who struggled with political oppression and censorship, spanning an arc from Germany’s Weimar Republic over Soviet Union to contemporary America.
Mr. Reif was a Conducting Fellow at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center in the summers 2015 and 2016. This past summer, he stepped in for Seiji Ozawa, conducting the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland and also lead the TMC Orchestra in Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony with Dawn Upshaw, Sanford Sylvan and TMC Singers. He has also repeatedly worked as assistant and cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and for Alan Gilbert at the New York Phil Biennial.
His enthusiasm in performing contemporary music has led to many world premieres; among those are Michael Gordon’s El Sol Caliente, a city symphony in honor of Miami Beach’s centennial, and also concertos for DJ and orchestra, performed at the PULSE events of the New World Symphony, when the concert hall is transformed into a nightclub.
A dedicated and enthusiastic educator, he has taught piano, coaches instrumentalists and works with singers as a répétiteur. Mr. Reif also worked as a Teaching Fellow in The Juilliard School’s Ear Training Department and served additionally as its Department Assistant. The Education Concerts 2014-2016 at the New World Symphony, which he hosted and conducted, were also broadcasted globally online. Christian also has been involved in the National YoungArts Foundation as a Music Master Teacher.
Mr. Reif has led several orchestras and ensembles both in the US and abroad such as the Lakes Area Music Festival Orchestra, The Juilliard Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Meininger Hofkapelle, Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Salzburg Chamber Soloists and lead the Munich Chamber Opera in performances of Mozart’s La finta semplice in Munich’s Cuvilliés Theater.
In 2014, Mr. Reif completed his Master of Music in Conducting at The Juilliard School under Alan Gilbert, after studying with Dennis Russell Davies at the Mozarteum Salzburg. For his outstanding achievements at The Juilliard School, Christian Reif is the recipient of the Charles Schiff Conducting Award. He won the German Operetta Prize 2015, awarded by the German Music Council, and two Kulturförderpreise, awards given to promising artists of the region who promote cultural advancement in their communities