Christian Reif

German conductor Christian Reif joins the San Francisco Symphony as Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) in fall of 2016. He made a “powerful symphony debut”(San Francisco Chronicle) with the San Francisco Symphony in October of 2015 and just completed two seasons as the Conducting Fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami, serving also as cover conductor for music director Michael Tilson Thomas.

In summer 2015, Reif conducted the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in several world premieres as part of Tanglewood’s 75th anniversary summer, and was re-invited immediately as one of the two Conducting Fellows for the summer of 2016. He has worked as assistant and cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he served as assistant conductor for Alan Gilbert at the New York Phil Biennial. Reif won the German Operetta Prize 2015, awarded by the German Music Council. He is currently a member of Germany's prestigious Conductor's Forum (Dirigentenforum) and included on their list of “Maestros of Tomorrow”.

Past season, Reif has lead the Munich Chamber Opera in performances of Mozart’s La Finta Semplice in Munich’s famous Cuvilliés Theater and performed with the Meininger Hofkapelle. He lead the award winning Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in the World Premiere of Mehmet C. Yesilçay's "Lieder aus der Fremde”, dealing with the current European Refugee Crisis. The goal was to bridge cultures through music, partaking in Germany’s “Willkommenskultur” (loosely translated as “welcoming culture”).

Reif leads several orchestras and ensembles both in the US and abroad. Among those are the Lakes Area Music Festival Orchestra, The Juilliard Orchestra, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Georgian Chamber Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. 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, coached instrumentalists and works with singers as a répétiteur. 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.

In 2014, 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.

Youth Orchestra Concerts

The SFS Youth Orchestra performs three concerts each season, and takes part in special events and celebrations throughout the year.

Find SFS Youth Orchestra Concerts