For the past twenty years Bill Ryan (b.1968) has been a tireless advocate of contemporary music. Through his work as a composer, conductor, producer and educator, he has engaged diverse audiences throughout the country with the music of our time. He has won the American Composers Forum Champion of New Music Award for his significant contributions to the work and livelihoods of contemporary composers throughout the country, the Michigan Governor’s Award in Arts Education, and was a finalist for the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year award for his work at Grand Valley State University.
Bill’s music has been performed in major cities and venues across the country including Le Poisson Rouge, Galapagos, Symphony Space, and Lincoln Center (New York), Woodruff Arts Center (Atlanta), the Atlas (Washington D.C.), Constellation (Chicago), MOCAD (Detroit), Initman Theater (Seattle), and the Hobby Center (Houston), and internationally in Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. His music has received awards from Meet the Composer, ASCAP, and New Music USA.
In addition to the concert stage, Bill’s music is regularly used by choreographers and dance companies throughout the country. Most recently he composed the music for The Secondary Colors, an evening-length collaboration with Karen Stokes Dance which was called “The most adventurous, if not spectacular, work this year” by Culture Map Houston.
In 2004 he formed his own ensemble, Billband, to perform his music. Made up of today's most exciting and in-demand performers, the group has released two recordings on the Innova label to critical acclaim. Their 2013 release Towards Daybreak was a featured release on NPR, the Huffington Post, and iTunes Classical.
Also active as a concert producer, Bill has presented over 60 events in his Open Ears and Free Play concert series, gaining national recognition with three ASCAP/Chamber Music America Adventurous Programming Awards. Notable guests have included eighth blackbird, Prism, So Percussion, Ethel, Lisa Moore, Todd Reynolds, Julia Wolfe, Talujon, Michael Lowenstern, and the Michael Gordon Band.
As a conductor Bill has commissioned and premiered dozens of works by such notable composers as Phil Kline, Marc Mellits, Belinda Reynolds, Jad Abumrad, Zoe Keating, Evan Ziporyn, and David Lang. In 2006 he founded the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, who have been profiled in numerous publications including Newsweek, the New York Times, and Billboard Magazine, and featured on NPR's Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, and WNYC's Radiolab. Beyond their many campus events they have performed concerts in Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C., at New York’s Bang On a Can Marathon, as members of the all-star ensemble assembled by the Kronos Quartet to perform on the In C 45th Anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall, and at the Make Music New York summer festival.
Bill has produced three critically acclaimed recordings by the ensemble, named to top year-end lists by the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Weekly, Time Out Chicago, and many others. A track from their second CD, In C Remixed, was recently heard on MTV's new hit series Teen Wolf. Their first CD, Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, was recently named one of the top five classical recordings of the decade by WNYC’s John Schaefer.
Bill resides in West Michigan with his wife and three children. When not working on music Bill can usually be found in the woods, washing his truck, or watching the Detroit Tigers.