Acclaimed as “one of the brightest younger artists in the field today” (The Diapason), Jonathan Ryan will be presenting a concert at 8pm tonight at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. It is sponsored by the Central Arkansas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Mr. Ryan has the rare distinction of holding six First Prize awards from major international and national organ competitions. He most notably entered the international spotlight when awarded First Prize in the 2009 Jordan II International Organ Competition, one of the most substantial First Prize awards of any organ competition at the time.
He was additionally awarded the only auxiliary prize at the Jordan Competition, the LeTourneau Concerto Prize, given for the best performance of a newly commissioned work for organ and percussion ensemble. Additional First Prize awards include the 2006 Arthur Poister National Organ Competition, the 2006 John Rodland Scholarship Competition, the 2004 Albert Schweitzer National Organ Competition (Young Professional Division), and the 2003 Augustana Arts-Reuter National Organ Competition.
Jonathan Ryan’s newest recording entitled Influences, recorded on the Stahlhuth-Jann organ at St. Martin’s Church, Dudelange Luxembourg, was released in December, 2015 on the independent boutique label, Acis. The recording features major works by Dupré and Willan, a premiere recording of Ad Wammes, and a commissioned piece by renowned English composer Philip Moore.
Mr. Ryan’s current performance projects include recitals of J.S. Bach’s monumental Clavier-Übung III in a tour on historically-based organs throughout the United States, including Stanford and Pacific Lutheran universities, St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus OH, St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston TX, Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale AZ, Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas TX, Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland OH, and Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Wilmington DE.
Born into a musical family in Charlotte NC, Ryan first started playing the organ at age eight. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree with academic honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied organ, improvisation, and church music with Todd Wilson. During his undergraduate studies, he was awarded the Henry Fusner Prize for outstanding achievement in the Cleveland Institute of Music’s organ department, and also assisted Todd Wilson at The Church of the Covenant as Student Intern in Music. As a student of David Higgs, Ryan received a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he also studied improvisation with William Porter and conducting with William Weinert. Additionally, he holds the highest-ranking professional certification from the American Guild of Organists, the revered Fellow certificate, as well as the Choirmaster certificate for which he received the Choirmaster Prize.
Ryan serves as Director of Music and Organist at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX where his passions for conducting, performing and teaching combine with his love of sacred music at the country’s second largest Episcopal church.