The winner of the W. Francis McBeth Composition Competition in 2015, Ryan was commissioned to write a piece for the upcoming CSO concert, Unfinished Business, using Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony as his inspiration. In response, Ryan created Stall(ed), which was premiered April 22 by the CSO at the Unfinished Business concert.

Ryan Key (b. 1994) grew up enthralled by the scores of cinematic blockbusters from the 2000s, wondering, “Why do I feel this way? How can I recreate it?” Channeling this early interest in film music, he began writing solo music and works for his local school bands, eventually earning Summa Cum Laude and Pi Kappa Lambda honors from the University of Arkansas, where he studied with Drs. Robert Mueller and James Greeson.

In addition to composing, Ryan performs as a saxophonist and has engineered audio for a video game, Saeculum, by Tesseract. Originally from Mountain Home, Ryan resides in Northwest Arkansas where he drinks copious amounts of coffee, enjoys listening to podcasts, and endeavors to write music that is rewarding to perform and viscerally engages the audience.