MIA News

Philharmonic to give ‘Odyssey’ concert featuring Aphrodite Patoulidou, Christian Reif

Skopje, 25 January 2024 (MIA) — The Philharmonic will perform a concert of works by Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius conducted by Christian Reif from Germany and featuring opera singer Aphrodite Patoulidou from Greece as soloist.

Newly appointed Chief Conductor of the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Christian Reif has established a reputation for his natural musicality, innovative programming and technical command.

Since 2022, Reif has served as Music Director of the Lakes Area Music Festival in Minnesota, a month-long summer festival committed to commissioning new works and to giving free concerts for the community with programming that ranges from opera and chamber music to symphonic performances.

Highlights of Reif’s 2023/24 season highlights also include subscription appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony and Brno Philharmonic Orchestra plus summer festival appearances at the Grand Teton Music Festival and at Interlochen.

Reif will conduct his own arrangement of John Adams’ El Niño with the Cincinnati Symphony, and with the American Modern Opera Company on tour to Stanford University, Yale University, Harriman-Jewel in Kansas City, and at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.

From 2016 to 2019, Reif was Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, after being the Conducting Fellow at the New World Symphony from 2014 to 2016 and at Tanglewood Music Center in 2015 and 2016. He studied conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at The Juilliard School in New York City. He resides in Munich with his wife Julia Bullock and their son.

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, Aphrodite Patoulidou has performed at international venues including the Staatsoper Berlin, La Monnaie, Teatro Real Madrid, Greek National Opera; in concert halls such as the Berliner Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Gothenburg Konserthuset, Snape Maltings as well as in music festivals such as Ojai in California, Aldeburgh and Ludwigsburg.

Her operatic roles of Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), Elle (La Voix Humaine), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Belinda (Dido & Aeneas), Sophie Scholl (Weisse Rose) and in Claude Vivier’s Lonely Child have been praised by international media. She has also collaborated with conductors such as Kirill Petrenko, Barbara Hannigan, Christopher Moulds, Tito Ceccherini, Manuel Nawri and orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, SWR and others.

Patoulidou is also a songwriter and photographer. She is also passionate about painting and poetry. She was one of the first artists to take part in the Equilibrium Young Artists Initiative by Barbara Hannigan. She is also a guest in the company of Sasha Waltz and was lead singer on tour with the heavy metal band Igorrr.

Now based in Berlin, Aphrodite studied at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki (class of Angelica Cathariou), the Royal Flemish Conservatorium of Brussels (class of Dinah Bryant), and University of Arts Berlin (class of Aris Argiris). Aphrodite has been a bursary recipient of Opera Awards Foundation, Onassis Foundation, Musikfonds e.V. and Manfred Strohscheer Stiftung. She has studied folk singing and plays the piano, the guitar and ventures on the nyckelharpa.