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Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director Christian Reif leads the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra in its final concert of the season on Mother's Day, May 14, at Davies Symphony Hall

April 25, 2017

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / APRIL 25, 2017


(High resolution images of Christian Reif and the SFSYO are available for download from the San Francisco Symphony’s Online Press Kit))


RESIDENT CONDUCTOR AND WATTIS FOUNDATION MUSIC DIRECTOR CHRISTIAN REIF LEADS THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA IN ITS FINAL CONCERT OF THE SEASON ON MOTHER’S DAY

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director Christian Reif leads the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) in its final concert of the season at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 14 at Davies Symphony Hall. The concert, which falls on Mother’s Day, features Brahms’s virtuosic Symphony No. 4 and Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler Symphony, one of the composer’s most famous and thrilling orchestral works that went on to be incorporated into his opera by the same name. Also on the concert are two rarely-heard works for percussion ensemble–Nagoya Marimbas by Steve Reich and the first movement of Trio per Uno from German-Serbian percussionist and composer Nebojša Jovan Živković.

“We have some of the most phenomenal young musicians in our Youth Orchestra, and one of the greatest joys for me as their conductor is that I know I can really push boundaries with them,” says Resident Conductor Christian Reif. “For this final concert of the season I have programmed two of my favorite pieces by Hindemith and Brahms, both heavy-weights of the symphonic repertoire, to explore the profound orchestral sound of German music. I’m also delighted that this concert will feature our wonderful percussion section, which is often in the background with fewer opportunities to be in the spotlight. They will be performing two pieces for the percussion ensemble which are highly virtuosic and technically demanding. It is going to be a thrilling concert program that will be a true testimony to the artistry and dedication of our Youth Orchestra.”

Nagoya Marimbas was written in 1994 and bears similarities to Reich’s other percussive works from the 1960s and ‘70s—played on marimbas with one or more beats out of phase. Reich considered this piece to be significantly more difficult to play than his earlier works, requiring a high level of skill. Živković was born in 1962 in the former Yugoslavia and has lived in Germany since 1980. Trio per Uno (Trio for One) is a complex piece, with the first movement requiring a bass drum (lying flat) played with timbale sticks by three musicians. It leaves open the space for improvisation in this movement, creating another dimension of excitement to an already high energy work.

Newly appointed Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the SFSYO Christian Reif has been met with great acclaim this season. He curated Rebel, the March installment of the SFS’s SoundBox series, an evening centered on the responses to oppression and censorship from composers across three geographic regions. He also recently stepped in to conduct the Berkeley Symphony—filling in for Music Director Joana Carneiro and leading a program of works by Mason Bates and Beethoven. He returns May 4 to the Berkeley Symphony for performances of Shostakovich Symphony No. 13, “Babi Yar.” Upcoming SFS concerts include Music For Families: Music To Your Feet on June 3 and Pixar in Concert on July 15 and 16.

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