Wattis Foundation Music Director
German conductor Christian Reif joined the San Francisco Symphony as Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra in the 2016-17 season. He was previously Conducting Fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami, where he was mentored by Michael Tilson Thomas. Mr. Reif completed his master of music in conducting at the Juilliard School under Alan Gilbert, where he received the Charles Schiff Conducting Award. He also studied with Dennis Russell Davies at the Mozarteum Salzburg. Mr. Reif is currently a member of Germany's Conductor's Forum where he was named one of their “Maestros of Tomorrow.” He was Conducting Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2015 and 2016 and has also worked as assistant and cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and for the New York Phil Biennial. Mr. Reif won the German Operetta Prize 2015, awarded by the German Music Council. In the 2017-18 season, Mr. Reif makes his debut with the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, works with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra, and makes return engagements with the Berkeley Symphony, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, and the Lakes Area Music Festival. This summer, he makes his debut with the Indianapolis Symphony and at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City. His enthusiasm in performing contemporary music has led to many world premiere performances, including Michael Gordon’s El Sol Caliente, a city symphony in honor of Miami Beach’s centennial; and concertos for DJ and orchestra, performed at the New World Symphony’s PULSE events. A dedicated and enthusiastic educator, Mr. Reif has also worked as a teaching fellow at the Juilliard School. He hosted and conducted education concerts with the New World Symphony, which were also webcast globally.