Friday, May 27, 2011

photo by Terry McNeill

Born in Boston and raised in northern California, pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough is beginning to develop a diverse career as soloist, collaborator, and proponent of new music. In a recent performance of Chopin, “his virtuosity was evident and understated, his playing projected a warmth... that conjured the humanity of Artur Rubinstein.” (Eli Newberger, The Boston Musical Intelligencer) Later, in a performance of contemporary music, his playing was described in the New York Times as having “found a perfect balance between the gently shimmering and the more brittle, extroverted strands... and left you eager to hear the rest.”

He has appeared as concerto soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the United States, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, World Festival Orchestra, Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, San Francisco State University Orchestra, Eureka Symphony, Inland Valley Symphony, and Coachella Valley Symphony. In addition to concerto engagements, he has also performed in collaboration with contemporary music ensemble eighth blackbird and the Mark Morris Dance Group.

He is the laureate of top prizes at the Milosz Magin competition in Paris, the World Piano Competition, Virginia Waring Piano Competition, and Bronislaw Kaper Awards in Los Angeles. He has performed at such festivals as the Music Academy of the West, Montecito Chamber Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, and Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, and has presented solo and chamber recitals at the 92nd St. Y in New York, UNESCO Hall in Paris, Zipper and Walt Disney Concert Halls in Los Angeles, and the Eli Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

An avid interpreter of new music, he has collaborated with composers John Harbison, Andrew McPherson and Dante De Silva, and has most recently entered into a commissioning project for a brand new solo piano work by the American composer James Primosch. In 2008, Mr. McCullough released a CD of solo piano music by 20th century Polish-French composer Miłosz Magin on the Polish label Acte Prealable. This recording was praised in the Polish music journal Ruch Muzyczny as displaying “exceptional skill and precision combined with intelligence and sense of design... [slowing] for parts of reflection and very evocative Polish reverie.”

Mr. McCullough holds degrees from Humboldt State University, the Colburn Conservatory, and the University of Southern California, where he has just been named the Thornton School of Music's outstanding graduate of 2011. His primary teachers have been Dr. Deborah Clasquin and John Perry.

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