Ryan, Thomas



Irish orchestral player and composer; born in Ireland; came to the United States in 1844, where he studied music in Boston. In 1849 the Mendelssohn Quartet Club, the first string chamber-music society of artistic standing, was organized; on its reorganization toward the close of the year Ryan was assigned the viola and clarinet, on which instruments he has been especially proficient. August Fries, first violin; Francis Rziha, second violin; Edward Lehmann, viola and flute; Ryan, viola and clarinet; and Wulf Fries, cello, were the members of this new body, which gave a concert on Dec. 14, 1849, its first public appearance in Boston, and afterward toured the United States. Ryan remained a member of the club till about fifty years later, being the last to leave it of the original five mentioned. He wrote a book, Recollections of an Old Musician, which was published in New York in 1899, and contains complete information in regard to this club. He has composed many songs, and some chamber-music, including quintets and quartets.