Ryan Murray is currently the Associate Conductor of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Music Director
of the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Artistic Director & Conductor of Music in the
Mountains. He is also the newly appointed conductor for the Sacramento Youth Symphony’s premier
orchestra. An award-winning opera conductor, Ryan spent his early career working as an assistant
conductor and répétiteur, and is currently the Music Director of Opera Modesto. Ryan also currently
directs the orchestra and opera at California State University, Sacramento. He is the past Music Director of Fresno Grand Opera, and previously worked 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 traditional orchestral and operatic repertoire, pops performances, movies in concert, and a notable emphasis on contemporary American operatic works.
As the Associate Conductor of the Modesto Symphony, Ryan has overseen a nearly five-fold increase in audience attendance for the Modesto Symphony’s education concerts since 2014. As the Music Director of the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra, Ryan has consistently worked to improve the quality, skill and prominence of the youth orchestra; with a passion for education and a remarkable flair for program building, he now oversees a program that features over 120 students from the greater Modesto area.
Ryan was a 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. Ryan is a current finalist for the American Prize in Orchestral Conducting, and has previously garnered national recognition for his dynamic, compelling performances of contemporary opera as the winner of the 2017 American Prize in Opera Conducting.
A charismatic pops conductor, Ryan has worked with prominent artists such as Storm Large of Pink Martini, SuperDiamond and the phenomenal symphonic tribute to David Bowie. He has led some of the top vocalists from Broadway and beyond, including Ben Crawford (Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera), Ashley Brown (Broadway’s Mary Poppins), and Alli Mauzey (Glinda from Wicked), as well as some of today’s top young jazz vocalists including Tony DeSare and James Tormé. With an enthusiasm for film scores, Ryan enjoys the unique challenges of conducting movies in concert; recent and upcoming performances include Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pixar Animation Studios’ Pixar in Concert.
Ryan holds degrees, summa cum laude, in Bassoon Performance and Voice Performance from California State University, Sacramento and also holds a master’s degree, with distinction, in Music Business from the Berklee College of Music where he studied with industry professionals to develop tools for success in the modern music industry, including new technology, policy, law and finance. Driven by a lifelong passion for learning, Ryan has attended conducting masterclasses and seminars around the
world, including the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s Conductors Workshop, the Musiikin aika Summer Festival Masterclass in Finland led by Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Susanna Mälkki, the Aurora Chamber Festival in Sweden led by Maestro Kurt Masur, the Lucerne Festival Academy’s Conducting Masterclass in Switzerland, the Eastman School of Music’s Summer Conducting Institute and the New York Philharmonic’s 2017 Contemporary Music Symposium led by Maestro Alan Gilbert. Widely praised for his tireless work ethic, natural poise, and impassioned, inspired performances, Ryan continues to connect deeply with orchestras and audiences alike, and has proven to be a formidable presence on the podium.