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.”


Ryan Suleiman is a composer based in Sacramento and was born to Lebanese and American parents. His music aims to explore new worlds both sonically and expressively through “impressionistic textures and large melodic gestures” (SF Classical Voice), resonant sonorities, and lively rhythms. Though his interests vary, Ryan is deeply inspired by the strange wonder of natural world and the tremendous beauty found in our everyday lives.

Ryan was twice a Finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, has received two first prizes from the FeNAM Student Composers Competition, and has attended several festivals, including Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium (2014), June in Buffalo (2016), and SICPP (2018). He has collaborated on performances and commissions with numerous ensembles, including Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Calder Quartet, Ensemble Mise-en, the Sacramento State Symphony-Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Camerata Capistrano, and the Davis High Symphony-Orchestra, among many others. Recent projects include a tiny unstaged “opera-song,” a guided participatory piece called Stairwell Music, and a 30-minute work called Heartstrings for piano quartet and dancers commissioned by the Hawkins School for the Performing Arts.

In 2013, Suleiman graduated with a B.M. from Sacramento State where he was president and co-founder of Composers Symposium. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Composition/Theory at University of California Davis. His principle teachers have been Stephen Blumberg, Leo Eylar, Kurt Rohde, Mika Pelo, Ross Bauer, and Pablo Ortiz.

Ryan resides in Sacramento with his wife / musical collaborator, two cats, and one brown dog. He enjoys long walks, good food, and the films of Hayao Miyazaki.

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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