Ryan Murray’s dynamic conducting, natural musicality and deeply held passion for the arts have allowed him to steadily build a robust career since his professional debut at the age of just 22. Ryan is currently the Associate Conductor for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra and Music Director for the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra; with whom he made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in 2014. Since his appointment in 2013, Ryan has consistently worked to improve the quality, skill and prominence of the youth orchestra, and now leads and ensemble that features over 120 students from the greater Modesto area. He is also Artistic Director of Townsend Opera and Resident Conductor & Choral Director of the Music in the Mountains Summer Festival in Nevada County, California. As part of a joint-collaboration, Ryan served as Music Director for Fresno Grand Opera’s mainstage productions of contemporary opera for two seasons, and previously served as a staff conductor for the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI) and The Opera Academy of California in San Francisco. Effortlessly moving between genres, Ryan currently enjoys a wide range of performance genres & platforms, including orchestral and operatic repertoire, pops performances, and a notable emphasis on contemporary American operatic works.
Ryan has recently garnered national recognition for his dynamic, compelling performances of contemporary opera and is the current winner of the 2016/17 American Prize in Opera Conducting for his highly lauded production of A Streetcar Named Desire. He was a 2016 semi-finalist for the American Prize: Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music for his production of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Ryan is also a past winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s prestigious Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors, and spent the summer in residence alongside the Vienna Philharmonic at the 2014 Salzburg Festival.
Driven by a lifelong passion for learning, Ryan has attended masterclasses and seminars around the world. Ryan has recently been invited to participate in the 2017 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s Conductors Workshop as a Conducting Associate, and is also one of just eight conductors to be invited to the upcoming Time of Music Summer Festival Masterclass in Finland led by Musical America’s 2017 Conductor of the Year & Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Susanna Mälkki; he has also been invited to participate in an upcoming contemporary music symposium led by Alan Gilbert featuring the New York Philharmonic. Previously, Ryan attended the Aurora Chamber Festival in Sweden, where he studied under Maestro Kurt Masur, the Lucerne Festival Academy’s Conducting Masterclass in Switzerland, and the Eastman School of Music’s Summer Conducting Institute featuring the Rochester Philharmonic. Ryan holds degrees, summa cum laude, in Bassoon Performance and Voice Performance from the California State University, Sacramento. Widely praised for his tireless work ethic, natural poise, and impassioned, inspire performances, Ryan continues to connect deeply with orchestras and audiences alike, and has proven to be a formidable presence on the podium.