Bavarian Radio names new concertmaster

Bavarian Radio names new concertmaster


norman lebrecht

August 06, 2018

The German violinist Thomas Reif has been chosen as concertmaster of Mariss Jansons’ Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. He will start in November.

Thomas, 27, is brother of Christian Reif, resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony.


  • luigi nonono says:

    That is awfully young to lead a major orchestra, no matter how well he plays. What’s wrong with hiring people with experience? There is far too much favoritism given the young hot-shots, who too-often turn out to be a flash in the pan.

    • Andreas B. says:

      there are various examples to contradict your claim:
      Jap van Zweden (Concertgebouw), Rainer Küchl (Vienna Phil), Markus Wolf (Bavarian State Orch.), Frank Michael Erben (Gewandhaus), Noah Bendix Balgley (Pittsburgh) are the ones I can think of even without doing any research.

      if you include other principal players, not just concertmasters, you’ll certainly realise that by the age of 27 it is entirely possible to be an experienced musician who doesn’t need to rely on favouritism to fill such a position.

      congratulations and best wishes to Thomas!

      • Anon says:

        Roman Simovic. The London Symphony Orchestra leader.

      • MacroV says:

        Guy Braunstein – CM in Berlin at 29 (maybe on the “old” side of young)
        Jonathan Crow – CM of the Montreal Symphony at 24

        Going way back:

        – Steven Staryk, CM of the Royal Phil at 18 (and after that the Concertgebouw, Chicago, Toronto)
        – Szymon Goldberg – Berlin Phil (19)

    • Qwerty1234 says:

      Not only can Thomas hold up against any of those players, but his extensive chamber and solo music experience will serve him well as a concertmaster. He’s the real deal and from my understanding the BR immediately recognized that at the audition.

  • Hilary says:

    What a lovely smile he has got.

  • Nea says:

    I saw him at the final of the Queen Elisabeth competition 2015. Of course getting to the final is a great feat in itself. But in the final he basically totally crashed his Tchaikovsky concerto. Gives me hope 🙂