Ph.D. in Composition
Ryan Suleiman was born to Lebanese and Mid-Western parents in California. His music engages with dreaming, 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. This is the subject of his Piano Concerto (2020) and an interview series called “Reflections on Music and Nature,” available on YouTube.
Suleiman is a three-time Finalist of the ASCAP Young Composer Awards and two-time winner of the FeNAM Student Composers Competition. His music has been performed at several 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, Daedalus Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Symphony d’Oro, Citywater, and Rogue Music Project. His piano cycle, Under Moonlight, was recorded by Jai Jeffryes in his solo album, Amethyst, distributed by Naxos.
Ryan enjoys collaborating with both musicians and artists in other fields. Past projects include concert-length pieces such as Heartstrings, a work for piano quartet and dancers (choreographer Jacob Gutiérrez-Montoya), and The Red Velvet Violin, a multimedia work for narrator, puppets, and orchestra (director Angelo Moreno at Davis High School). His two sister operas, Moon, Bride, Dogs and Bones of Girls (story/libretto by Cristina Fríes), have received several performances in Northern California and in Georgia. Additional projects include an orchestral contemplation of fires in his native California called Burning, the Piano Concerto, and a new work for socially distanced soprano and chamber ensemble that explores collective feelings of isolation in the beloved poet Gibran Khalil Gibran’s “The Robin.”
Suleiman received his Ph.D. from University of California, Davis (Provost Fellowship) where his advisor was Kurt Rohde, and his B.M. from Sacramento State. He has taught as a lecturer at the Sacramento State School of Music and was an associate instructor at UC Davis, in addition to teaching composition and theory as a private instructor. Ryan resides in Boston with his wife/musical collaborator, Sakurako Kanemitsu, and several furry animals, where he teaches composition in-person and via Zoom. He enjoys long walks, good food, and the films of Hayao Miyazaki. More information available at www.ryansuleiman.com.