Born in Boston and raised behind the “Redwood Curtain” of northern California, pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough has developed a variegated career as soloist, vocal and instrumental collaborator, composer, recording artist, and pedagogue. Ryan’s music-making encompasses work with historical keyboards, electro-acoustic tools and instruments, and close collaborations with some of today’s foremost composers. His longstanding collaborative (and life) partnership with soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon has yielded a substantial crop of new art song repertoire, as well as his work in contemporary ensemble and commissioning project HereNowHear, 2017 recipient of a Fromm Foundation award. He is also founder and lead producer of False Azure Records.
Ryan’s growing discography features many world premiere recordings, including solo piano works of Milosz Magin (Acte Prealable, 2008), Andrew McPherson (Secrets of Antikythera, Innova, 2011), John Liberatore (Line Drawings, Albany, 2018), Nicholas Vines (Hipster Zombies from Mars, Navona, 2018), art song and solo piano music of John Harbison and James Primosch (Descent/Return, Albany, 2020), art song by Sheila Silver (Beauty Intolerable, Albany, 2020), and piano and vocal works of Dante De Silva and Katherine Balch (the labor of forgetting, False Azure Records, 2022). He has also appeared on PBS’s Great Performances (Now Hear This, “The Schubert Generation”) and is an alumnus of NPR’s From the Top.
As concerto soloist Ryan has appeared frequently with orchestra, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Festival Orchestra, Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, Orange County Wind Symphony, and World Festival Orchestra, with such conductors as George Benjamin, Gisele Ben-Dur, Fabien Gabel, Leonid Grin, Anthony Parnther, Larry Rachleff, Mischa Santora, and Joshua Weilerstein. Mr. McCullough has collaborated with the Mark Morris Dance Group, contemporary ensembles eighth blackbird and yarn/wire, and has performed at festivals including the Tanglewood Music Center, Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Festival, Nohant International Chopin Festival, and Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival. Highlights of the ‘21-‘22 season include an original cabaret collaboration with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, three tours with the Mark Morris Dance Group, a residency with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Brahms’ Die Schöne Magelone at the Harvard Musical Association with soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon, and performances of Stockhausen’s MANTRA at Notre Dame and Syracuse Universities as part of ensemble HereNowHear.
As a teacher, Dr. McCullough has worked to cultivate the kind of multidisciplinary training which will be critical for the next generation of musical artists. He has taught masterclasses in piano performance at Bucknell University, New England Conservatory, Notre Dame University, Cal State Northridge, Washington State University, and Humboldt State University, and has served as piano instructor and chamber music coach at Cornell University and Bard College Conservatory. Additionally, he has developed four unique intersectional courses: Musical Technologies and the Natural World (Cornell University), an upper division creative seminar exploring the relationships between culture and conceptions of place; The Active Listener (Bard College Conservatory), a course focused on field recording techniques and aesthetics; Technological Musicianship (Cornell University), a general-access course designed during the Covid-19 pandemic to train musicians with the skills needed to produce high-quality digital content in a changing professional landscape; and FutureSounds, a composition seminar and instrument building workshop designed to explore the fundamentals of musical syntax and creativity.
He holds his Bachelor of Music from Humboldt State University (studying with Deborah Clasquin), Artist Diplomas from the Colburn Conservatory and the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto (John Perry and David Louie), a Masters in Music from University of Southern California (John Perry), and Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts from Cornell University (Xak Bjerken).
For additional information and curios, visit www.RyanMMcCullough.com.