German conductor Christian Reif joined the San Francisco Symphony as their Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the internationally acclaimed San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) in the 2016-17 season, after making a “powerful symphony debut” 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 past two seasons.
Highlights of his career include leading the Munich Chamber Opera in performances of Mozart’s La finta semplice in Munich’s Cuvilliés Theater, performing with the Meininger Hofkapelle and leading the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony. As part of efforts to bridge cultures through music, he led the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in the world premiere of Mehmet C. Yesilçay’s Lieder aus der Fremde, which addresses the current European refugee crisis.
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, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Georgian Chamber Orchestra, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. He has performed with soloists including Dawn Upshaw, Sanford Sylvan, Julia Bullock and Barbara Bonney.
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 also holds a scholarship from the German study promotion program of the Cusanuswerk and two Kulturförderpreise, awards given to promising artists of the region who promote cultural advancement in their communities.