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Outstanding piano playing. With attitude.
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It’s no surprise that Barron Ryan began his distinguished music career before his fifth birthday. As the son of two musicians, Barron Ryan grew up in a house filled with sounds ranging from Chopin to Vince Guaraldi to Isaac Hayes. Under the tutelage of his father, Donald Ryan—accomplished pianist and student of Andrzej Wasowski and Aldo Mancinelli, Barron earned a reputation as a talented young musician. During his secondary education, he was a prizewinner in numerous competitions, including the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association Senior Audition (OMTA) and received first place. Barron’s fascinations with jazz and rhythm soon expanded his classical repertoire and translated into dedicated drumming. Drawing on influences such as the Glenn Miller band, KODO, and Stomp, Barron was soon a well-known member of his high school drumline and jazz band. It wasn’t long until he was playing drums in his father’s jazz trios.
Barron’s drive and determination served him well at the University of Oklahoma, majoring in piano performance while playing drums in the jazz band. Under the teaching Dr. Edward Gates, Barron increasingly turned his focus toward the piano, and the genres of classical, jazz, and funk continued to attract his attention. He played in jazz combos, won the OU School of Music Concerto Competition, and garnered first prize in the OMTA Collegiate Auditions.
Since graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Barron has resided and performed in Tulsa. When it comes to his own performing, Barron is not content drawing on just one of his musical influences; he combines them all into an experience that’s vintage yet fresh, historical yet hip, classic yet cool. He has created a program that has wowed audiences from the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame to the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Barron’s prowess in ragtime took him to the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival and the Eagles and Ivories Ragtime Weekend as a performer. Not only that, but he composed an original ragtime score for the short film “Pistachio Thief.”
In 2012 he added “international artist” to his accolades with tours in Japan and Israel. Barron’s program of jazz-infused classical music introduced the works of George Gershwin, William Bolcom, and Nikolai Kapustin to sold-out audiences in both countries. His virtuosic transcription of Oscar Peterson’s “Blues Etude” brought each crowd of concertgoers to their feet in applause.
Barron continues to perform awe-inspiring transcriptions of some of the best jazz pianists ever: Art Tatum, James P. Johnson, and of course Oscar Peterson. His technique and musicality have earned him high regard in the worlds of classical, jazz, and ragtime piano. Barron also plays with his father as Ryan & Ryan, performing crowd-pleasing combinations of classic and original piano duets across the United States. This year he released his first solo album, Classical with Attitude, collection of concert music infused with jazz or ragtime. Whether you’re looking for music with heritage or edge, Barron Ryan will give you a timeless performance.
Classical with Attitude
Concert music gets feisty when infused with jazz and ragtime on this debut album by pianist Barron Ryan. Audience favorite George Gershwin finds company in contemporary composers Nikolai Kapustin and William Bolcom for a rhythmic, lyrical, and adventurous recording of Classical with Attitude.
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The concert comes to you in Barron Ryan’s ongoing home performance series, Keyboard Confidential. Throw your friends a party they’ll never forget—one where they will enjoy an astounding piano performance, each other, and your hospitality. Keyboard Confidential: Good friends, great music.
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