Tony Ryan is a conductor, composer, educator, reviewer, broadcaster and adjudicator. As a teacher he led the performing arts at Linwood College in Christchurch, New Zealand, for more than thirty years before working in Mombasa (Kenya) and Singapore for several years. His time at Linwood College culminated in an extraordinary tour of Europe and the UK as conductor of the College's seventy-piece orchestra.
Since returning to New Zealand in 2017, Tony has worked as a regular conductor of Resonance Ensemble, conductor of the Christchurch School of Music Sinfonia and conductor of the Christchurch Schools Music Festival Orchestra.
Tony’s most recent compositions were performed in 2019, 2020 and 2021, by Resonance Ensemble, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, orchestras from the Christchurch School of Music, and other soloists and ensembles.
Earlier compositions have been performed by a wide range of singers, instrumentalists and ensembles including the Auckland Philharmonia (NZ), the Oregon Symphony Orchestra (Portland, USA), Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Youth Orchestra, Saxcess Saxophone Quartet (Wellington, NZ) and many others.
A week-long season of his one-act opera The Musicians of Bremen drew wide acclaim, and his music for Christchurch's Court Theatre summer season of Alice! based on Alice in Wonderland is the highlight of music written for several professional theatre productions at The Court.
Other major works include a Saxophone Concerto, Tuba Concerto, two String Quartets, several Song Cycles and numerous shorter orchestral, choral, chamber, instrumental and vocal works, along with a large number of music-theatre scores for secondary schools.
EXPERIENCE / SKILLS
Tony has worked with the following organisations, several of which he remains closely involved with:
Resonance Ensemble, The Christchurch School of Music, Christchurch Schools Music Festival, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Canterbury Opera, Christchurch Youth Orchestra, Rural Schools Music Festival (Canterbury NZ), Christchurch Orchestra Festival, Christchurch Wind Festival, Radio New Zealand Concert, The Christchurch Press, Theatreview, Christopher's Classics, Creative New Zealand, The Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA AMCOS), Linwood College (Christchurch NZ), Aga Khan Academy (Mombasa, Kenya), ACS International (SIngapore).
Tony and his mezzo-soprano wife Ursula have worked together in many performances including opera, recitals, broadcasts and recordings. Many of Tony's vocal works were written specially for Ursula who gave their first public performances.