Ryan Turner, now in his seventh year as Artistic Director of Emmanuel Music, brings both talent and heart to his music-making as a conductor, programmer, and singer. Praising his performance of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, critics described him as “a thinking man’s conductor” and remarked on his “supple, even liquid shaping of phrase, impeccable technique and truly refreshing communication of the intimacy of ensemble playing.” Raised in El Paso, Texas, Mr. Turner attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He arrived in Boston in 1995 to continue his studies at The Boston Conservatory. He joined Emmanuel Music in 1997 as a tenor soloist and chorus member, making his debut as a guest conductor in 2006. Since his appointment as Artistic Director, Mr. Turner has programmed and conducted over 150 Bach cantatas, the Bach St. John Passion, Mass in B minor and Christmas Oratorio, and major works and operas by Stravinsky, Mozart, Handel, and John Harbison. A champion of new music, Ryan Turner has programmed and premiered the works of composers John Harbison, James Primosch, Brett Johnson, and Ben Houge.
As an opera conductor, Mr. Turner’s repertoire ranges from Handel and Mozart to Martin and Glass. He has made guest appearances with the Boston Lyric Opera, Boston College, and at Longy School of Music of Bard College where he teaches on the voice and early music faculty. He was the Director of Choral Activities at Phillips Exeter Academy from 2006 to 2012. From 2006 to 2009 he served as the Acting Director of the SongFest Bach Institute in California, founded by Craig Smith. From 2001 to 2010 Mr. Turner presided as Music Director of the Concord Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. He has also served as Assistant Director of Choral Activities at the University of Rhode Island, as Interim Director of Choral Activities at Plymouth State University, and as Music Director of the Concord Chorus.
Ryan Turner has appeared as tenor soloist in oratorio, recital, and opera. Some highlights include his appearances with the Mark Morris Dance Group in Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, six seasons with the Carmel Bach Festival, and singing the role of Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte with Opera Aperta. Mr. Turner made his Carnegie Hall debut as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah in 2008. He has sung solos in over forty Bach cantatas with Emmanuel Music. His discography includes Bach BWV 76 with Emmanuel Music, Praetorius’s Christmas Vespers with Apollo’s Fire, and Kapsberger’s Apotheosis with Ensemble Abendmusik.
Ryan Turner lives north of Boston with his wife, soprano Susan Consoli, and their two children, Aidan and Caroline.