Ryan Suleiman

Ryan Suleiman. Photo: Sakurako Kanemitsu.Photo: Sakurako Kanemitsu

Based in Sacramento, CA
Website: ryansuleiman.com

“My music often draws upon natural phenomena and the sublime wonder of the natural world for ideas and inspiration. The richness of the earth dwarfs anything humans have or could ever achieve (which I find comforting). Amidst the crisis of climate change, I hope that my music will help inspire people to both appreciate the world around them and respect it – this respect has never been more urgently needed.”


A Sacramento-native, Ryan Suleiman was born to Lebanese and American parents. His music has been commissioned by numerous performers and ensembles, including Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Citywater, the Sacramento State Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Davis High Symphony Orchestra, and has been performed by the Calder Quartet, FearNoMusic, Jai Jeffryes, the Sacramento State Symphony Orchestra, and Camerata Capistrano among others. He was a Finalist in the ASCAP Young Composers Award and a two-time winner of the FeNAM Student Composer Competition.

Writing for acoustic instruments, Suleiman aims to explore new worlds both sonically and emotionally. His music features “impressionistic textures and large melodic gestures” (SF Classical Voice), resonant sonorities, and lively rhythms. Though his interests vary, his work often draws upon the strange and sublime wonder of the natural world for inspiration, drawing attention to the crisis of climate change.

Suleiman earned his Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from Sacramento State, studying under Stephen Blumberg and Leo Eylar. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the composition/theory program at UC Davis, where his teachers include Kurt Rohde and Mika Pelo, and has received the Provost Fellowship.

Audio Samples

Under Moonlight (2012) recorded live by Sakurako Kanemitsu, piano, at Sacramento State, December 2013. Learn more about this piece.

“Inspired by some of my walks along the American River in Sacramento, Under Moonlight can be taken as a collection of different “night scenes” which tries to evoke not only the beautiful and tranquil, but also the curious and mysterious wonder of night.”

“Oceans” from Imageries (2015), recorded live by David Russell, cello, at the Mondavi Center (UC Davis), November 2015. Learn more about this piece.

Imageries is a set of character pieces inspired by elements of the natural world that explore some sonic and expressive possibilities of the cello. ‘Oceans’ aims to capture the majesty of the seas.”

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