photo by Sakurako Kanemitsu

Short Bio

Ryan Suleiman was born to Lebanese and Mid-Western parents in California. His music engages with daydreams, the natural world, and the understated beauty of everyday life through resonant sonorities and lively shifting rhythmic structures. 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 through his compositional work. In addition, he is soliciting ideas about art, nature, and activism from other musicians in an interview series called “Reflections on Music and Nature,” available on YouTube.


Suleiman was three times a Finalist in the ASCAP Young Composer Awards and has received two first prizes from the FeNAM Student Composers Competition. He has participated in several festivals, including SICPP (New England Conservatory), June in Buffalo, and the North American New Opera Workshop (Atlanta). He has written music for dance, theater, and concert performance, collaborating with West Edge Opera, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Calder Quartet, Hawkins School of Performing Arts, Rogue Music Project, Ensemble Mise-en, Ensemble Dal Niente, Symphony d’Oro, Camerata Capistrano, and the Sacramento State Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and many others. His piano cycle, Under Moonlight, was recorded by Jai Jeffryes in his solo album, Amethyst, distributed by Naxos.


Recent projects include two short “sister” operas with writer Cristina Fríes, an orchestra piece called Burning, and a Piano Concerto. Ryan is a Ph.D. candidate in Composition/Theory and Provost Fellow at University of California, Davis. His dissertation work, in addition to his own Concerto, is an analysis of Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto through the lens of dreams that emphasizes the perspectives of performers. He is an Associate Instructor at UC Davis and Part-Time Professor at Sacramento State, teaching. He resides in Sacramento with his wife / musical collaborator, Sakurako Kanemitsu, three cats, and one brown dog. More at

© 2012-20 Ryan Suleiman


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