Connecticut Composers Inc.

Ryan Jesperson



RYAN JESPERSON (1981) is a composer whose music is steeped in the modern practice of blurring genres and skewing expectations. With a taste for eccentric rhythms and dissonant chord progressions, Ryan’s music alludes to his jazz and rock roots while still firmly ensconced in the modern classical tradition. In 2011 Ryan completed a Doctorate in Music Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he was a Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellow, President of the Composer’s GUILD, and student senator. His dissertation, Songs from Behind the Curtain: an opera in three acts was awarded the 2011 UMKC Outstanding Dissertation Award. Ryan also holds an MM and an AD from the University of Hartford, and a BM and BA from Washington State University. His principal compositions teachers included Chen Yi, Zhou Long, James Mobberley, Larry Alan Smith, Robert Carl, Stephen Gryc, Charles Argersinger and Gregory Yasinitsky.

Ryan’s compositions have been performed across the country and abroad, with performances at numerous SCI and NACUSA concerts, the UCM New Music Festival, the Nebraska at Kearney New Music Festival, the Kalv Festival, and the ReJoyce Festival among others. Recent performances include Indeed, this very Love, by the grammy- winning Kansas City Chorale, Hebdomas Squatinae by the Luna Nova Ensemble, Getz Going by Sheri Brown and the West End String Quartet, and the premiere of I. Jest by Robert Olson and the UMKC Orchestra. Upcoming performances include Not Death, but Love by the Ouroboros Saxophone Quartet, A Page Out of Zen by David Tayloe, fragments and memories by Jordan Jacobson and the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, and Rhapsody for Dean Moriarty by jazz legend Bobby Watson and the UMKC Jazz Band. Portions of his opera, Songs from Behind the Curtain will be performed in 2013 by the UMKC Opera Department.

Winner of the 2011 Gerald Kemner Prize for Orchestral Composition, the 2010 Beethoven Club/Belvedere Chamber Festival Composition Contest, the 2010 KC Chorale Composition Competition, the 2009 British Trombone Society Composition Contest, and the 2009 Kalv Festival Composition Contest, Ryan has also been honored by NACUSA, the College Music Society, ASCAPLUS, the Lional Hampton Jazz Festival, FASR, and Phi Beta Kappa. Also an educator, Ryan was a member of the music faculty at the Hartford Conservatory and has taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Hartford. He is currently teaching computer applications in Hartford and is a Dad-in-training. Ryan is published through Sound Music Publications and Warwick Music, as well as his own imprint, Jazzperson Music. You can find out more at


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