A b o u t R y a n
Ryan Suleiman was born to Lebanese and Mid-Western parents in California. His music engages with dream logic, the natural world, and the understated beauty of everyday life. His one-act chamber opera, Moon, Bride, Dogs, was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a gem” with “an aesthetic that is at once so strange and so accessible.” While his artistic interests vary, he seeks ways of conveying the simultaneity of beauty and dread that characterizes our times.
Suleiman’s music has been performed at numerous festivals, including SICPP (Boston), June in Buffalo (NY), and the NANOworks Opera Workshop (Atlanta) among others. In addition, he has worked on commissions and collaborations on chamber, symphonic, and operatic works with numerous groups, including West Edge Opera, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Juventas Ensemble, Daedalus Quartet, Ensemble Mise-en, Symphony d’Oro, and Camerata Capistrano. His piano cycle, Under Moonlight, was recorded by Jai Jeffryes in his solo album, Amethyst, distributed by Naxos. Suleiman was a three-time Finalist of the ASCAP Young Composer Awards and two-time winner of the FeNAM Student Composers Competition.
Ryan is particularly interested in exploring the myriad ways in which nature and its current state of crisis play into the human experience through music. Recent projects include an opera The School for Girls Who Lost Everything in the Fire (in progress) with writer Cristina Fríes and a Piano Concerto contemplating apocalypse. His recent meditative Piece of Mind asks audiences to listen to nature and each other, and The Robin, for socially-distanced soprano and chamber ensemble, contemplates collective feelings of isolation through the poetry of Gibran Khalil Gibran. His interview series, Reflections on Music and Nature, explores the connection between music, nature, and activism through conversation.
photo by Phil Daley
Suleiman also enjoys working collaborating across different artistic mediums, as he has done with Colors in Motion (solo viola work for Kurt Rohde responding to work by visual artists Peter London and Gregory Guss), and in concert-length piece such as Heartstrings, (with Jacob Gutiérrez-Montoya, choreographer) and The Red Velvet Violin (a multimedia work for narrator, puppets, and orchestra at Davis High in collaboration with Angelo Moreno).
Ryan completed his Ph.D. at University of California, Davis, where he wrote his dissertation on Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto through the lens of dreams and performance. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music and has held teaching positions at the Sacramento State School of Music and UC Davis. He currently resides in Boston with his partner and several furry animals, where he also teaches composition privately. He enjoys long walks, good food, and the films of Hayao Miyazaki. More information available at www.ryansuleiman.com.