Composer William Ryden was born in New York City in 1939 and is a lifelong resident of Forest
Hills, New York. He received his training at The American Conservatory of Music, Chicago; The
Mannes College of Music, New York; and in private study with the late Hungarian maestro, Tibor
Mr. Ryden's work covers the full spectrum of vocal, choral, solo, chamber, and orchestral music. His principal compositions include a piano concerto, clarinet concertino, string quartet, two brass quintets, many orchestral works, various chamber ensemble compositions, the musical "Ragtag! or The Mayor's New Suit", and over 230 rags for solo piano. In 1989 a collection of twelve of his rags called "Glad Rags & Sad Rags" was recorded by Canadian pianist John Arpin and released simultaneously with a folio of the music by Squanlake Music. 1983 saw his "Quintet for Oboe and Strings" premiered by the Con Brio Ensemble at Carnegie Recital Hall. In 1992 Orchestra New England, James Sinclair, conductor, and John Arpin, pianist, gave the world premiere of his "Concerto in Ragtime" for Piano and Orchestra at Battell Chapel, Yale University, New Haven, CT. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His works have been performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and by numerous orchestras and ensembles around the United States, Canada and Europe. They have also been presented at the Scott Joplin Festival, on National Public Radio, WBAI, WKCR, KDB-FM Radio, and on WWOR-TV, WNBC-TV, New York, New England Public Radio and America's Talking Cable Network.
Much of Mr. Ryden's career has been in broadcasting where his credits include songs for Public Television's "Electric Company", and the use of his "Rejoice and Be Merry (A ragtime Christmas Carol)" as a Christmas theme for the CBS radio network. Since 1982 he has been awarded 25 grants from the Meet-The-Composer-Foundation, and ASCAP Special Awards. Many of his compositions and arrangements have been published by Bourne Co.; International Music Company; Warner Brothers Publications; Columbia Pictures/Belwin Mills; E. F. Kalmus; Masters Music Publications, Inc.; and Manhattan Beach Music. He is a members of ASCAP. Today, in addition to his work as composer, arranger, conductor and performer, he is Editorial Director of Bourne Co. Music Publishers/International Music Co.