Ryan has a master's degree in musicology from Cambridge University. In 1998 he became a conducting assistant at the Stuttgart State Opera in Stuttgart; from 1999 to 2003 he was music director of the Freiburg Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany.
A new music champion, he has led works by Heiner Goebbels, Bruno Maderna and Luigi Nono as well as by his teacher Peter E‹tv‹s, whose opera Three Sisters he conducted at the Op_ra National de Lyon in 2002. He made his Paris National Opera debut in 2005 leading the first performances of Matthias Pinscher's L'Espace dernier.
In Europe, he has guest-conducted in Birmingham, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Toulouse and Munich. In the U.S. he has led the Dallas, Baltimore, Detroit and Indianapolis Symphonies; he is scheduled to lead the Houston, Atlanta and Milwaukee Symphonies in 2007-08.
AbeilleInfo.com reports that, each season from 2006-2007 onward, Ryan will conduct in Bordeaux one opera, four orchestral programs and two "discovery" concerts.