Praised for his “strong personal voice” (Globe and Mail), “masterful command of instrumental colour” (Georgia Straight), and “superb attention to rhythm” (Audio Ideas Guide), Jeffrey Ryan writes music that runs the gamut from opera, art song, and choral music to chamber and orchestral works.
Recipient of SOCAN’s 2014 Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award for career achievement, Ryan’s music has been performed and broadcast on five continents, inspired choreographers, and served as soundtrack to the dance film Fata Morgana. His many commissions include works for the Cleveland Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Aventa Ensemble, Arditti Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, and Tapestry Opera. Major recent projects include the oratorio Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation (poetry by Suzanne Steele, commissioned by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and One Yellow Rabbit), and Book of Love, a collaborative dance/music work with Vancouver’s Kokoro Dance and Standing Wave.
Well represented on disc, recordings of Ryan’s music have garnered four JUNO nominations and five more from the Western Canadian Music Awards. His portrait CD Fugitive Colours, performed by the Vancouver Symphony with the Gryphon Trio, launched the Naxos Canadian Classics series and went on to win the 2012 Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Recording of the Year. Ryan’s growing discography includes recordings by musica intima, the Canadian Chamber Choir, clarinetist Cris Inguanti, pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, the Thunder Bay Symphony, the Hannaford Street Silver Band, the Penderecki String Quartet, and Standing Wave.
Jeffrey Ryan is a freelance composer based in Vancouver, Canada. He was the Vancouver Symphony’s Composer Laureate for the 2008/09 season, after serving as Composer-in-Residence from 2002 to 2007. Previously he was an Affiliate Composer with the Toronto Symphony from 2000 to 2002. Since 1997, he has been Composer Advisor for Music Toronto.
Born in Toronto and raised in Fergus, Ontario, Jeffrey Ryan fled the School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University to join the Faculty of Music, from which he graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Music degree and the gold medal in music. After earning a Master’s degree in composition from the University of Toronto, he went on to receive his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from The Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Donald Erb. Previous teachers include Alexina Louie, Lothar Klein, Mariano Etkin, Boyd McDonald, and Owen Underhill.