Orcas Center welcomes Barron Ryan to Center Stage on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. Barron Ryan’s love for music has always been divided. The son of two musicians, he grew up in a house filled with the sounds of artists ranging from Mozart to Motown. Naturally, when it comes to his own work, he’s not content drawing on just one influence. He combines them all into a musical adventure that’s vintage yet fresh, historical yet hip, classic yet cool.
Starting piano lessons at age four, Barron seemed destined for a career in music. Everything did not go according to plan, however, as Barron was rejected from all the music conservatories you might be impressed by. Disheartened and a little annoyed, he briefly gave up on the piano in pursuit of a satirical hip-hop career. But, due to a favorable result in a piano competition that sent its winner to perform internationally, that project was graciously short-lived.
Thanks to that concert tour, Barron found his artistic voice. He discovered the joy of jazz- and rag-time-inspired concert music from great jazz pianists by transcribing and replaying their solos. Barron noticed a shocking lack of funk-, pop-, and country-inspired classical music. Realizing he could fill that void, he composed his “Magic City” Sonata and a dance suite called Suite Thing.
In 2021, Barron was requested by Chamber Music Tulsa to produce a work commemorating Tul-sa’s 1921 massacre, he wrote a piece for piano trio entitled My Soul Is Full of Troubles. Smithsonian Magazine even took note, naming Barron one of “Ten Innovators to Watch in 2021.”
Barron is following in his favorite composers’ footsteps by publishing his original works in the public domain. He offers his work as a gift to the world, and as a chance to collaborate with artists from around the globe. Experience Barron’s eclectic blend of piano artistry for yourself at Orcas Center on September 16!
Ticket prices range from $15-$59. Call 360-376-2281 ext 100, or visit www.orcascenter.org for tickets and more information.