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'We're all very excited to be playing music again': conductor Christian Reif on Sunday's WYSO program

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Photo by Kristen Loken
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Conductor Christian Reif

Christian Reif makes his debut conducting Interlochen's World Youth Symphony Orchestra this weekend in a program that includes not one but two fanfares.

Interlochen's World Youth Symphony Orchestra will take the stage in person this weekend for the first time since 2019.

At the helm will be conductor Christian Reif, in his first appearance with WYSO at Interlochen.

The program includes music by Ivan Enrique Rodriguez, Adrienne Albert, James Stephenson and Aaron Copland.

Reif spoke with IPR about this Sunday's program, which includes two different fanfares.
Having two fanfares on WYSO's first concert in two years seems appropriate. "We're all very excited to play music again," he says, laughing.

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Jenny Popovich
IPR's music director Amanda Sewell talks with conductor Christian Reif in IPR's Studio B

Reif also talked about what it's like preparing a program like Sunday's with multiple pieces that will be new to him as a conductor.

"You can figure out what speaks to you specifically, and then communicate that," he says. "Hearing a piece for the first time when you've only heard it in your head is a very special and wonderful experience."

He also told us about his favorite part of Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring." (spoiler: it's not the variations on "Simple Gifts")

Listen live on IPR Sunday evening to hear the World Youth Symphony Orchestra under Reif's baton.

Pre-concert coverage begins at 7 p.m. with the downbeat at 7:30 p.m.