German conductor Christian Reif has quickly established a name for himself as a fast-rising talent. In July 2019, Reif completed a three-year post as Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. His tenure culminated in a six-city European tour with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra including performances at Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin Philharmonie and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. Following the Berlin performance, the Merkur wrote of Reif that a “bright future and a great career must lie ahead”.
Reif makes debuts on subscription in the 2019/20 season with Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Gävle Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Romanian Radio Symphony, Brno Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra and Fundación Excelentia of Madrid. He returns to the Orchestre National de Lyon in a two-programme Beethoven project and to the San Francisco Symphony in a Soundbox program with soprano Julia Bullock. He will conduct the Dallas Symphony in an opening gala concert, make debuts with North Carolina Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Belgique and Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguese in Lisbon.
Highlights of the 2018/19 season included appearances in New York at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival with the International Contemporary Ensemble and as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MetLiveArts series on a new chamber version of John Adams’s El Niño with the American Modern Opera Company. Other recent debuts included the Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C., St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Brucknerorchester Linz and at Opera San Jose on a production of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.
Reif was a Conducting Fellow with the New World Symphony from 2014 to 2016, and a Conducting Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in the summers of 2015 and 2016. During his time at Tanglewood, he stepped in for Seiji Ozawa to conduct the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland, and he led the TMC Orchestra in Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony with soprano Dawn Upshaw, baritone Sanford Sylvan and TMC vocalists.
Reif’s enthusiasm in performing contemporary music has led to several world premieres. Among those are Michael Gordon’s El Sol Caliente – a city symphony in honor of Miami Beach’s centennial – and concertos for DJ and orchestra performed at New World Symphony PULSE events where the concert hall is transformed into a nightclub.
Christian Reif studied with Alan Gilbert at the Juilliard School, where he completed his Master of Music in Conducting in 2014 and received the Charles Schiff Conducting Award. Prior to that, he studied with Dennis Russell Davies at the Mozarteum Salzburg, where he received a diploma in 2012. He is winner of the 2015 German Operetta Prize, awarded by the German Music Council, and two Kulturförderpreise awards given to promising artists of the region who promote cultural advancement in their communities.