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 the 2016-17 season. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in September 2015 leading the West Coast premiere of Ted Hearne’s Dispatches. He recently completed two seasons as 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.
A Tanglewood conducting fellow in 2016, Mr. Reif has led several orchestras and ensembles both in the US and abroad such as the Berkeley Symphony, Lakes Area Music Festival Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Georgian Chamber Orchestra, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. He led the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in the world premiere of Mehmet C. Yesilçay's Lieder aus der Fremde, which addresses the current European refugee crisis. 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. He hosted and conducted the New World Symphony’s education concerts in 2014 and 2016, which were also broadcasted globally online.
Tim Day is Principal Flute of the SFS and occupant of the Caroline H. Hume Chair. Mr. Day served as principal flute with the Baltimore Symphony for twelve seasons, has been acting principal flute with the Minnesota Orchestra, and was guest principal flute with the Boston Symphony. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Mr. Day joined the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1987 and during the summers is on the faculty of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
Christopher Gaudi, SFS Acting Associate Principal Oboe, has also served as acting assistant principal oboe of the National Symphony Orchestra, professor of oboe at Indiana University, principal oboe in the San Diego Symphony, and guest principal with the Atlanta, Seattle, and Puerto Rico symphony orchestras. He has performed frequently with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he has appeared at the White House. A student of Elaine Douvas and John Mack, he received his bachelor and master of music degrees from the Juilliard School.
Carey Bell became SFS Principal Clarinet and occupant of the William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Chair in September 2007. A former member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, he has held principal positions with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and the Syracuse Symphony, and he has served as acting principal clarinet of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and as guest principal clarinetist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Bell received degrees in performance and composition from the University of Michigan.
Steven Dibner, San Francisco Symphony Associate Principal Bassoon, studied at Indiana University with Leonard Sharrow. He earned a master’s degree from Juilliard, where he studied with Stephen Maxym, and went on to play with the New Jersey Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, before joining the SFS in 1983. He has performed at music festivals in Aspen, Marlboro, and San Diego.
Jessica Valeri joined the SFS in 2008. She holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Maddison and Northwestern University. Ms. Valeri has been a member of the Saint Louis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Ballet. She also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony, Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and International Contemporary Ensemble, among others. She is currently a coach for the SFS Youth Orchestra.
Dan Carlson, who joined the SFS in 2006, is Principal Second Violin and occupant of the Dinner and Swig Families Chair. He previously served as rotating concertmaster for the New World Symphony and he has made solo appearances with the Phoenix Symphony, Chicago String Ensemble, New World Symphony, and the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Carlson has performed chamber music extensively throughout New York and has worked on chamber music compositions with composers Bright Sheng, George Perle, Hans Werner Henze, and Thomas Adès, among others. Mr. Carlson is also Concertmaster of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, where he performs and teaches along with other members of the San Francisco Symphony. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School.
Sarn Oliver earned degrees from the Juilliard School. He is the former principal second violin of the Sacramento Symphony and concertmaster of the Santa Cruz Symphony. His recordings include the Benda and Stamitz violin concertos with the Montpellier Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Oliver has his own recording studio and label, SarnWorks. He has served on the faculty of UC Berkeley and the University of the Pacific. He joined the SFS violin section in 1995. Learn more about Sarn Oliver at sfsymphony.org/sarnoliver
Yun Chu joined the SFS violin section in 2002. He received his early training at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and served as concertmaster on two concert tours with the Asian Youth Orchestra under Sergiu Commissiona, where he also performed as soloist with Yo-Yo Ma. While a student at the University of Southern California (where he received the Jascha Heifetz scholarship), he was selected to participate in the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany, and was subsequently appointed concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra. Learn more about Yun Chu at sfsymphony.org/yunchu.
David Gaudry, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, joined the San Francisco Symphony’s viola section in 1982. A graduate of Indiana University, he also studied at the Vancouver Academy of Music and at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Prior to joining the SFS he was a member of the Vancouver Symphony.
David Goldblatt, occupant of the Christine & Pierre Lamond Second Century Chair, joined the SFS cello section in 1978, having previously played in the Pittsburgh Symphony. Mr. Goldblatt has also been a cellist with the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia (now the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia) and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. He is currently a coach for the SFS Youth Orchestra.
In the 2016-17 season, American mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook performs the roles of Countess de Coigny in Andrea Chénier with San Francisco Opera and Older Woman in Dove’s Flight with Opera Parallèle, and she returns to Seattle’s Music of Remembrance in recital. In summer 2016, she sang the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera, and was soloist in David Gockley’s Farewell Opera Gala Concert with San Francisco Opera. Her engagements in the 2015-16 season included Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia with San Francisco Opera, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Houston Grand Opera, Zosha in Heggie’s Out of Darkness with Music of Remembrance, and Gertrude Stein in Cipullo’s After Life with Urban Arias. Ms. Cook can be heard in the world premiere recording of After Life with Music of Remembrance, recently released by Naxos. Ms. Cook’s highlights with San Francisco Opera include performances in the title role in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, Arlene Kamen and Wang Tai Tai in the world premiere of Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter, and Jade Boucher in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (recorded and released by ERATO). Ms. Cook is a professor of voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she holds the Frederica von Stade Distinguished Chair in voice. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 1990.
Bass-baritone Davóne Tines’s 2016-17 season highlights include John Adams’s El Niño under the composer’s baton with the London Symphony Orchestra in London and on tour in France, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, under Grant Gershon. He sings Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Charlotte Symphony and he is featured in the Paris premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s True Fire with the Orchestre National de France. Mr. Tines makes debuts at Lisbon’s Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and at Finnish National Opera in Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains, which he also sang in the Dutch National Opera premiere. Together with Helga Davis, Mr. Tines created Requiem for: A Tuesday, a ceremony of music and dance that addresses police brutality. Requiem for: A Tuesday is presented by National Sawdust and then across North America. Highlights of Mr. Tines’s recent seasons include Caroline Shaw’s By & By with the Calder Quartet, Kaija Saariaho’s Sombre with members of ICE at the Ojai Music Festival, the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s opera, Crossing, and the premiere of the one-man chamber opera, American Gothic. These performances mark his SFS debut.
Adam Larsen is a documentary filmmaker and designer for live performance who has designed for several SF Symphony productions including Debussy’s Le martyre de Saint Sébastien, Peter Gynt, Peter Grimes, On the Town, and most recently Das klagende Lied. He is the resident projection designer for SoundBox. Notable works include Hal Prince’s LoveMusik on Broadway; The Gospel at Colonus at the Athens, Edinburgh, and Spoleto festivals; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at the Singapore and Edinburgh festivals; Brief Encounters and My Fair Lady at the Shaw Festival; The Women of Brewster Place at Alliance Theatre and Arena Stage; Ghost Brothers of Darkland County and Native Guard at Alliance Theatre; big at Atlanta Ballet; Love Lies Bleeding, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, and Balletlujah at Alberta Ballet; Saariaho’s Maa with Atlanta Symphony and GloAtl; Janáček’s From the House of the Dead at Canadian Opera; Dove’s Siren Song and Handel’s Semele with Pacific Musicworks; Adams’s A Flowering Tree and Handel’s Agrippina at Opera Omaha; Cage’s Second Hand and Foss’s Phorion, and Michael Tilson Thomas’s Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind with New World Symphony; Dove’s Flight at Juilliard; Yoon’s Sunken Cathedral at Prototype; Mascagni’s Iris at Bard Summerscape; and recently the world premiere of Mazzoli’s Breaking The Waves at Opera Philadelphia. Mr. Larsen holds a BFA in cinematography from North Carolina School of the Arts. His documentary about autism entitled Neurotypical aired on the PBS series POV.
Seth Reiser is a New York-based designer who works in theater, opera, dance, and music. Most recently in the Bay Area he designed the set and lighting for the Saint Louis Symphony’s performance of Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles… at Cal Performances. Other recent work includes the Berlin Philharmonic’s performance of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion at the Park Avenue Armory/Lincoln Center directed by Peter Sellars; Round-Up at BAM with Sufjan Stevens and yarn/wire; The Indian Queen with Musica Aeterna; Vietgone at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Between Riverside and Crazy at A.C.T in San Francisco; The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs by Mike Daisey; Reggie Watts and Tommy Smith’s Radio Play; and Taylor Mac’s Obie award-winning production of The Lily’s Revenge. Mr. Reiser lives in Rochester, NY, where he teaches lighting design at the University of Rochester. He received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and MFA from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts.