Minnesota’s Lakes Area Music Festival set for first season with new music director, Christian Reif

Posted on: July 29, 2021

“Christian Reif is a young conductor with a career in full blossom,” writes Rob Hubbard in Tuesday’s (7/27) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “He spent three years as resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony…. He earned affection… for the video musical missives he performed with his wife … soprano Julia Bullock during the pandemic. So what’s the next stop for this star on the rise? Brainerd, Minn. Reif was recently named music director of the Lakes Area Music Festival, which begins Friday and runs through Aug. 22…. The orchestra Reif will lead this summer features multiple members of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the Dallas, San Francisco, and Seattle symphony orchestras. This year’s festival features a mix of new music and old…. ‘Our new home is called the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts, because we are on Ojibwe land,’ Reif said, referring to a freshly christened 1,200-seat concert hall in downtown Brainerd that takes its name from the Ojibwe word for the nearby Mississippi River. ‘So we are inviting an Ojibwe musician, a singer and drummer, who will present some traditional and contemporary Ojibwe songs.’ … Performances [will also be] livestreamed on the festival’s YouTube and Facebook pages.”