G. Richard Ryan (Dick to his friends) worked professionally for more than 30 years as an orchestral conductor and a music theatre producer/artistic director.
Shortly after graduating from the Northwestern University School of Music, he was hired as the production stage manager for the Ravinia Festival—the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Among the artists Dick personally worked with at Ravinia were Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonius Monk, and Bob Dylan. Being with famous performers continued as Dick then spent seven years on the production staff at Lyric Opera of Chicago, bringing him into contact with many of the greatest singers, dancers, conductors and directors of the international opera and ballet world.
Dick’s wife, professional ballerina and choreographer Donna Ehrler Ryan, was his constant creative partner as they worked in Europe and numerous places across North America. They produced hundreds of staged performances, including four major world premiere commissions and a large summer festival, featuring hundreds of nationally known artists and ensembles. They also produced two wonderful children.
In 1990, Dick left the music theatre business to focus on healing issues for artists. Working for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, he founded IV Arts, serving as the first National Director of Arts. He travels to universities across the country to meet with students and faculty, talking practically and passionately about how to connect their art, their lives, and their faith.
Dick considers his greatest achievement to be his friendships, his family, and his relationships. His greatest passion is watching God transform lives.