Ryan Probert’s pieces have been met with acclaim, they have been described as “authentically of the present moment in their lightness and stubborn eccentricity… charmingly Satie-like in their oddity.” (Ivan Hewett, Telegraph), “huge Technicolor sonorities (extra brass plus organ) from the slightest of musical ideas… …eloquence and sense of atmosphere in the quiet music (beautifully poised trumpet and clarinet solos, supported by ravishing string phrasing)…” (Richard Bratby, Birmingham Post), “beautiful and delicate” (Gary Hickey, Newport Adviser) and “enchanting” (Clive Peacock, Leamington Courier). Musicians from more than 30 different nations have performed Ryan’s music on four continents, at festivals, universities, concert halls, libraries, galleries, factories and even empty houses.
Ryan’s music takes inspiration from conscious and unconscious memory using this to find unique approaches to composition, combining this with his love of melody, certain sonorities and episodic structure. The concept that outdated, kitsch or overly clichéd material can be transformed into something new and exciting often appears in his work. Ryan is a long-time collaborator with the Vickers-Bovey Guitar Duo for whom he has written the large-scale works Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji and Eight Views of the Four Seasons. The former won the 2013 John Mayer Prize, which Ryan also won in 2012 with his piece Resonance of Words.
Born in the small village of Clearwell in the Forest of Dean; Ryan attended Wyedean School and Sixth Form Centre, the same school as J. K. Rowling. His grandfather Gerald Probert, leader of the first choirboy strikes, initially taught Ryan composition and piano. Ryan is also related to Geoff Mack the Australian country singer and composer of I’ve Been Everywhere, and Sir George Edwards chief designer of the Viking, Valetta, Varsity, Viscount, Valiant aircrafts and leader of the British team who designed Concorde. Ryan’s great-grandfather A.W. Trotman helped introduce Hereford Cattle to Argentina.
Ryan began studying at the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2010 and graduated in 2014 with a BMus (hons) degree. Ryan has been taught by a variety of teachers; Joe Cutler (Head of composition, Birmingham Conservatoire), Jo Kondo (Ochanomizu University), Richard Causton (Lecturer of composition, University of Cambridge), Seán Clancy (Birmingham Conservatoire) and Howard Skempton (Lecturer of composition, Birmingham Conservatoire). He has been taught conducting by Dan Rosina (Birmingham Conservatoire) and Edwin Roxburgh (Birmingham Conservatoire), conducting many of his own premiers and those of other composers.
Ryan’s education supported by the Lumbs Educational Foundation, Hall’s Trust, EMI Sound Foundation and the patronage of David Trotman.
Projects to perform and record Ryan’s music have been funded by the Japan Society and the Sasakawa Foundation.
Ryan’s music has been performed by:
Ryan’s music has been conducted by:
Prizes, Festivals and Selections:
Dada-ism selected by Mutiny to be performed on Resonance FM
Conduction selected by Trinity Laban to be performed as part of the Nancarrow Festival
Hexagrams selected by York Festival of New Music
Selected to take part as an active composer in the 2012 Atlas Academy
Resonance of Words winner of the 2012 John Mayer Prize
4 compositions performed as part of the 2013 Birmingham Conservatoire Frontiers+ Festival
Thirty-six Views of Mount. Fuji winner of the 2013 John Mayer Prize
Toddler Walk selected for performance by the Schubert Ensemble
7 compositions performed as part of the 2014 Birmingham Conservatoire Frontiers+ Festival
Teaches Fig selected for performance by Noszferatu