Music in the Mountains announced this week the naming of Ryan Murray as resident conductor and choral director, reflecting the overwhelming impact and success of his five-year tenure as choral director of the 90-member Music in the Mountains Chorus, according to Sherry Bartolucci, board president of Music in the Mountains.
“Ryan has led our chorus with mastery and singular competence,” said Bartolucci. “He is a joy to work with and has well-earned this additional recognition. With these new responsibilities, Mr. Murray will support our guest conductors, as well as conduct those concerts where guest conductors were not available or appropriate.”
A busy man, Murray is a highly regarded conductor in steady demand as both a performer and educator throughout California. He has been the choral director of the Music in the Mountains Chorale since 2008, garnering rave reviews from audiences and performers alike. Additionally, Murray was recently named music director for the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as being named artistic director of the Napa Valley Youth Symphony, with which he will make his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall during the 2014 season. Widely praised for his skill on the podium, Murray’s dynamic conducting, affable personality and deeply held passion for the arts have allowed him to connect with orchestras and audiences alike. Murray is passionate about music education and has worked as a guest clinician for youth orchestras and choirs throughout California and has served previously as the co-director for the California Youth Symphony Summer Orchestra Camp.
He also holds the position of music director of Townsend Opera in Modesto. Since 2008, Murray has led the company in many critically acclaimed productions, including highly lauded performances of “Carmen” and “La Traviata.” He also serves as the assistant conductor and director of vocal activities for the Vocal and Instrumental Teaching Academy in Sacramento. Focusing on education, Murray recently led the VITA orchestra in performing the Carnegie Hall Link-Up program — an interactive concert culminating from a yearlong curriculum for young students. He previously acted as a faculty conductor for the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute, a nationally acclaimed summer program for pre-professional opera singers, as well as for the Opera Academy of California Summer Program.
This year, Murray was selected as a runner-up for the prestigious Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival. In addition, he was selected to participate in the University of Oregon Conducting Workshop with master teacher Neil Varon of the Eastman School of Music, as well as the 2013 Waterville Valley Music Center Conducting Masterclass with maestro Kenneth Kiesler in Waterville Valley, N.H.
Murray graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Sacramento, with degrees in bassoon and vocal performance. While completing his studies at CSUS, he served as assistant conductor of the orchestra and opera programs and performed as a guest soloist. He went on to teach bassoon at California State University, Sacramento, in 2010.
Music in the Mountains holiday concert season begins Dec. 7 with a special Holiday Children’s Concert at 11 a.m. that is free to children 17 and under. Tickets for adults are $5.
The MIM Holiday Favorites Concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and again at 2 p.m. Dec. 8. Tickets range from $5 to $42. The season will wrap up Dec. 20 with the 7 p.m. Messiah Sing Along at Peace Lutheran Church.
For more about the concerts, Murrary and MIM, call the Box Office at 530-265-6124, or visit http://musicinthemountains.org.