1. Degrees & Programs
  2. Ensembles

Guest Conductors

  • Christian Reif


    German conductor Christian Reif joined the San Francisco Symphony as their Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the internationally acclaimed San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) in the 2016-17 season, after making a “powerful symphony debut” with the Symphony in fall 2015.  He came to San Francisco from Miami, where he was the Conducting Fellow with the New World Symphony for the previous two seasons. Christian Reif is currently a member of Germany's prestigious Conductor's Forum (Dirigentenforum) and was accepted to their list of “Maestros of Tomorrow”.

  • Edwin Outwater


    Edwin Outwater has recently created groundbreaking programs with artists such as Renée Fleming and Wynton Marsalis at the Kennedy Center and the Chicago Symphony. His long association with the San Francisco Symphony includes tenures as Director of Summer Concerts (2014-2017) and Resident Conductor (2001-2005). As Music Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, he revitalized the orchestra and is now Music Director Laureate. An ardent champion of new music and cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration, he is a visionary programmer with a gift for bringing context to the concert hall. Equally adept at interpreting canonical masterworks, premiering new commissions, and connecting audiences with repertoire beyond the mainstream, Outwater is, in the words of Michael Tilson Thomas, “one of the most innovate conductors on the scene today.”

  • Christopher Rountree

    New Music Ensemble

    Rountree, 34, is the founder, conductor, and creative director of the path-breaking L.A. chamber orchestra wild Up. The group has been called “Searing. Penetrating. And Thrilling” by NPR’s Performance Today and named “Best Classical Music of 2012” by the Los Angeles Times. wild Up started in 2010 with no funding and no musicians, driven only by Rountree’s vision of a world-class ensemble that creates visceral, provocative experiences that are unmoored from classical traditions.


    In the 17-18 season, Rountree debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and with Washington National Opera, conducting Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up, and returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In the 2016-17 season, Rountree made his debut with San Diego Opera conducting Peter Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen, and with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, returning to Opera Omaha to conduct Jonathan Dove’s Flight. Recent highlights include his conducting debut with Los Angeles Opera, conducting the world premiere of David Lang’s Anatomy Theater;Atlanta Opera, conducting David T. Little’s Soldier Songs; Diavolo Dance Theater’s trilogy L’Espace du Temps, for which Rountree did the reductions to Esa Pekka-Salonen’s piece of the same name; the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series; Colorado Music Festival; and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Return engagements included performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony (SoundBox), and with Ensemble LPR at (le) poisson rouge.


    He’s conducted a litany of great ensembles and festivals in the last few years including the Brooklyn Philharmonic; Monday Evening Concerts; the Prototype Festival; Beth Morrison Projects; the American Composers Orchestra; the Winnipeg Symphony; Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic; American Youth Symphony; and the Rose City Chamber Orchestra. With his eclectic style and resume, he’s been tapped to curate events for contemporary art institutions, including the Getty Museum, MCA Denver, and the Hammer Museum, where a long-running wild Up residency brought the group to national prominence.

  • Alan Pierson

    New Music Ensemble

    Alan Pierson has been praised as "a dynamic conductor and musical visionary" by the New York Times, and "gifted and electrifying" by the Boston Globe. In addition to his work as artistic director of Alarm Will Sound, he is Principal Conductor of the Dublin-based Crash Ensemble, has served as Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and has guest conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the London Sinfonietta, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Steve Reich Ensemble, Carnegie Hall's Ensemble ACJW, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Silk Road Project, among other ensembles. He is co-director of the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble, and has been a visiting faculty conductor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Eastman School of Music.