German conductor Christian Reif has quickly established a reputation for his natural musicality, innovative programming and technical command. He is Music Director of the Lakes Area Music Festival of Minnesota, a month-long summer festival committed to commissioning new works and to giving free concerts for the community with programming that ranges from opera and chamber music to symphonic performances.  San Francisco Chronicle has written: “Reif is a remarkable talent... a conductor of considerable stature, and everything felt like the work of a significant musical artist.” 

Reif’s 2022/23 season highlights include appearances with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, SWR Symphonieorchester, Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Münchner Symphoniker, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra. In Summer 2023, he leads concerts at the Enescu Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen, and his third season at the Lakes Area Music Festival which will include 5 orchestral programs and a fully-staged opera production. 

With an equal footing in North America and Europe, Reif has conducted the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Baltimore, Houston, Dallas, Colorado, Indianapolis and Kansas City, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In Europe, he has performed repeatedly with Orchestre National de Lyon, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra and Stavanger Symphony.  

Previous season highlights include appearances in New York at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival with the International Contemporary Ensemble and at the Met Museum’s Cloisters in a new chamber version of John Adams’s El Niño with the American Modern Opera Company. Reif enjoys conducting opera and has led productions at Juilliard Opera of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Opera San Jose of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and the Lakes Area Music Festival of Ariadne auf Naxos. 

In 2020, Reif was active on the piano during the pandemic, recording a series of at-home virtual “Songs of Comfort” with his wife Julia Bullock, ranging from Carole King’s classic “Up on the Roof” to Schubert’s Wanderers Nachtlied. In November 2020, NPR Music featured the duo in a “Tiny Desk (Home) Concert” for their special quarantine edition of the series. NPR’s Tom Huizenga found it “among the most transcendent musical moments I’ve experienced this year” and The New York Times highlighted them on their “Best Classical Music of 2020” list. 

From 2016 to 2019, Christian was Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, after being the Conducting Fellow at the New World Symphony from 2014 to 2016 and at Tanglewood Music Center in 2015 and 2016. He studied conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at The Juilliard School in New York City. It was there that he first met his wife Julia Bullock, with whom he resides in Munich.

September 2022