Newly appointed Chief Conductor of the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Christian Reif has established a reputation for his natural musicality, innovative programming and technical command.
The 2023/24 season marks Reif’s inaugural season as Chief Conductor of the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, a position he will hold through the 2025/26 season. He leads 7 programs with the orchestra including their season-opening concerts and a Swedish tour in March 2024.
Since 2022, Reif has served as Music Director of the Lakes Area Music Festival in 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.
Highlights of Reif’s 2023/24 season highlights also include subscription appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony and Brno Philharmonic Orchestra plus summer festival appearances at the Grand Teton Music Festival and at Interlochen. Reif will conduct his own arrangement of John Adams’ El Niño with the Cincinnati Symphony, and with the American Modern Opera Company on tour to Stanford University, Yale University, Harriman-Jewel in Kansas City, and at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.
With an equal footing in North America and Europe, Reif has conducted the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Colorado, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Louisville, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Previous season highlights include appearances with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival with the International Contemporary Ensemble. 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.
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.
Reif is featured on classical singer Julia Bullock’s debut solo Nonesuch Records album Walking in the Dark where he leads London’s Philharmonia Orchestra as well as accompanies Bullock on the piano. The album was praised by Gramophone Magazine as “illuminating”, and described Reif as providing “excellent support” for Bullock. In 2020 during the pandemic, Reif and Bullock recorded a series of at-home virtual “Songs of Comfort”, ranging from Carole King’s classic “Up on the Roof” to Schubert’s Wanderers Nachtlied. NPR Music featured the duo in a “Tiny Desk Concert” for their special quarantine edition of the series, 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. He resides in Munich with his wife Julia Bullock and their son.