Acclaim


Press materials

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"Impressive...
Ryan played with such sensitivity within the composer's spirit...splendid nuance...
Greatly applauded recital."

Frankfurter Neue Presse, Frankfurt, Germany, August, 2014  

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"Majestic accents and technical challenges were put over with seeming ease by this skilled organist....
Ryan played György Ligeti's Etude coulée with an impenetrable flowing...real virtuosity....
This difficult, brilliant and impressive work [Duruflé Prelude, Adagio and Chorale-Variations on Veni Creator, Op. 4] left the audience in breathless awe, only to break out in greater applause."

Reutlingener Generalanzeiger, Reutlingen, Germany, August 2011

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"Jonathan Ryan presented one of the convention’s finest recitals. The program was all the more remarkable for being delivered from memory, a remarkable feat in and of itself."

"The recital began with the Dupré Symphonie-Passion. Tempo was excellent; playing was clean, accurate, and confident. The crescendo to full organ was seamless and seemed effortless. Toward the end of the first movement, the sense of a singing line was most palpably evident.  [...]  In the other movements, Ryan used the colors of the organ to good effect, and with unceasingly varied creativity. This was especially clear in the third movement, where the dynamic and timbral range was as wide as one could hope for. Throughout, there was a sense of clear, thorough mastery of the music, and a clear vision for its interpretation."

"We then heard two of the Schumann opus 56, numbers 5 and 4. As the first began, I was struck, again, with a sense of fresh registration. Both of these were played with great skill; one never missed the canonical writing."

"Ryan ended with the Sowerby Pageant. [...]. He made the ferocious difficulties of Pageant seem like minor issues. Jonathan Ryan is one of the brightest younger artists in the field today; his Cambridge recital augurs a long and distinguished career.

The Diapason, November, 2014
Full review here

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"Ryan will take your breath away"
Review of A Cathedral’s Voice:

“Jonathan Ryan is one talented organist!  Matched as he is on this CD with the new 54-rank Parkey organ in Shreveport's Catholic Cathedral and some superb previously unrecorded music (as well as plenty of old favorites), this is much more interesting than the average run-of-the-mill organ demonstration disc.”

"Ryan opens with a lively and spirited performance of Bach's Prelude and Fugue in D (BWV 532) in which we are quickly introduced to the performer's technical skill..."

“[Three Liturgical Improvisations by George Oldroyd] are played with tremendous feeling; the expressive, singing lines of Oldroyd's rich harmonic framework soar under Ryan's skilled fingers as he captures exactly the essence of this great emotive liturgical music.”

“The final two pieces… provide a glimpse into the extraordinary technical ability of this international (multiple) prize-winning organist: Fantaisie sur le Te Deum et Guirlandes Alleluiatiques of Charles Tournemire, and Placare Christe servulis (Op. 38, No. 16) of Marcel Dupré, played here with all the great drama and excitement befitting such a cracking toccata….  Allow yourself to get caught up in this incredible performance - Ryan will take your breath away.”

The Diapason, June 2013

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Review of A Cathedral's Voice:

Five stars.
"Performer and instrument project very effectively in nice acoustics on this recording, with skilled and communicative playing, imaginative programming of interesting repertoire and an exciting modern organ. Alongside 'standard's' by Bach, Schumann, Dupré and Tournemire is some Byrd (surprisingly working quite well here), a set of newish American hymn preludes, some ecclesiastic George Oldroyd and a riotous extract from Petr Eben's Faust. This is a good recital of known and less-known music played stylishly on an interesting organ..."

Choir & Organ, July/August, 2013

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Review of Influences:

"Jonathan Ryan is one of the rising stars of the American organ scene, with no fewer than six national and international first prizes under his belt.  Little wonder, with such a bomb-proof technique...The considerable technical difficulties of Willan's regal epic [Introduction, Passacaglia, and Fugue, Op. 149] are handled with aplomb...Further evidence of Ryan's considerable technical prowess is evidence in Ad Wammes's transcendental, if typically quirky, Ride in a High Speed Train which...was written for performance by non-human means..."

Choir & Organ, July/August, 2016

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"Jonathan Ryan is demonstrates his virtuosity... "
The order of works was refreshingly varied...Marcel Dupré's Prelude and Fugue in B Major was the ideal conclusion to the recital: powerful effects, on a broad scale: virtuoso, rapid, never-ending runs, responses in far-away parts of the organ, bustling motion in sharp rhythmic pulses and bombastic Tutti — this was the mark of a top-class organist."

Konstanzer Kulturleben, Konstanz, Germany, July 2011

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Review of A Cathedral’s Voice:

” [...] Jonathan Ryan presents a very interesting program of pieces masterfully played.  With an extremely wide repertoire range [...], including a commissioned work by Zachary Wadsworth, Ryan demonstrates exceptional technique, considerable depth of musicianship, imagination, and passion.  This is a player to watch!  He clearly has much to say."

The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, April, 2013

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“Things got off to a lively start with Dupré’s transcription of Bach’s Sinfonia from Cantata 29….Ryan’s playing had great drive.”

“[in] Howells’ Rhapsody in C-sharp Minor, Op. 17, No. 3, […] Ryan had a very fine sense of the piece’s architecture.”

“Ryan closed with Dupré’s Prelude and Fugue in B Major, Op. 7, No. 1 — its lively toccata and angular fugue formed a test for hands and feet that he passed well!  This excellent recital was a great start to our convention.”

The Diapason, March, 2013

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"More impressive than the thrilling crescendo and climax of Bach’s Sinfonia from Cantata 29 or the virtuosic Etude Coulée of György Ligeti, was the intimate, emotional phrasing of the Bach Fourth Trio Sonata’s Andante movement....Virtuoso as he is, Ryan programmed many reflective pieces.  Surely Ryan’s performance [of George Oldroyd's Liturgical Improvisation No. 1] evoked the peaceful countryside for as the piece ended, a sigh escaped from the audience as everyone came back to reality....Ryan had given the Lincoln audience exposure to the perfect shaping and expressiveness of his performance—he made the organ speak, and it spoke to everyone’s lives and hopes."

Lincoln Classical Music Examiner, Lincoln, NE, September, 2011

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"...the melodic wealth of Tournemire's use of Marian chants was highlighted by Ryan's supple sense of rhythm and phrasing...Ryan's exhilarating playing highlighted the immense diversity of sound in the organ repertoire to which Tournemire was drawn, and the fantastic possibilities opened up when playing the repertoire on an organ of symphonic scope."

Sacred Music, Winter, 2011

 


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"A rare, not-to-be-missed performer....

Jonathan Ryan's recital at the Cathedral was nothing short of spectacular....

Jonathan worked long hours to learn the organ and its secrets (Bedient, French-romantic, 1986).  Many said the organ had never sounded this well....

The well-balanced program was full of delighted surprises....There have been many recordings of the Dupré "Passion Symphony"; none can lay claim to a more inspired and therefore exciting performance than Jonathan's.  One local, well-regarded organist in the audience was moved to tears.....

We honestly cannot wait to have him back."

Scott Turkington, Organist & Choirmaster
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Charleston, SC

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 “Jonathan Ryan’s concert at California Lutheran University was a complete success.  Even weeks later, people are still coming up to me to rave about his technical skill, poise, and imaginative programming.  It was the perfect event to kick off the 20th anniversary celebration of the Steiner-Reck pipe organ in Samuelson Chapel.”

Dr. Kyle Johnson, Lecturer in Music &
Coordinator of Chapel Music/University Organist
California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA 

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"Jonathan Ryan's playing is elegant in all genres and periods of the organ repertoire. Particularly stunning were the Bach Prelude and Fugue in D Major, the Balbastre Noël and the Tournemire Improvisation on the "Te Deum". His superb artistry, both technically and musically, make him one of the finest young performers in the organ world today." 

Dr. Margaret Kemper
Associate Professor, Northwestern University School of Music
Director of Music/Organist, Presbyterian Homes, Evanston, IL

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“As one of the featured artists on the dedication series of the Conroy Memorial Organ, Jonathan Ryan’s rock-solid technique and artistry confirmed that he is a bona fide virtuoso and bound to become a star amongst stars.  He presented a well-balanced program that not only showcased the different colors of the instrument very well, but also dazzled the audience with exciting performances of works by Bach, Balbastre, George Shearing, David Conte, Karg-Elert and Dupré.”

Dr. Rudy de Vos, Director of Music & Organist
Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA

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"As a headline performer on our Kansas City series for the fall of 2010, Jonathan Ryan, presented a thoughtful program with remarkable musicianship.  Performing from memory with an intuitive sense to find colors of the instrument,  he engaged a broad spectrum of the audience with a variety of works by Bach, Balbastre, George Shearing, and David Conte in the first half.  He finished the program with a masterful performance of the Passion Symphony of Dupré which brought the listeners to their feet."

Dr. Kenneth Walker, Dean
Greater Kansas City Chapter, American Guild of Organists

 

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