Ryan Hardcastle


Violist Ryan Hardcastle maintains a varied career as a performer, pedagogue, and music historian. He is currently on faculty at Nazareth University–School of Music, where he teaches viola and music history, and is Visiting Assistant Professor of Viola at SUNY Potsdam–Crane School of Music.

In recent years, Ryan has dedicated his attention to unknown works from the former Soviet Union. These lectures and recitals have resulted in the American premiere of works by Schnittke, Weinberg, Grigori Frid, Volkonsky, and Druzhinin. As a two-time Presser Grant recipient, Ryan is currently at work on a book titled, 1985: A Year of Triumph and Trauma in the Life of Alfred Schnittke. The book explores aspects of memory, cerebrovascular disease, and refreshing discussions of Schnittke’s music including his Viola Concerto, Cello Concerto No. 1, Concerto for Mixed Chorus, String Trio, and Concerto Grosso No. 3. In addition to this project, Ryan is transcribing a late, unpublished work by Schnittke.

As a soloist and chamber musician, Ryan has appeared with WXXI-Rochester, Chamber Music Society of Rochester, and June in Buffalo. A native of Missouri, Ryan joined the American Wild Ensemble in 2021 to celebrate the bicentennial of Missouri’s statehood. The Ensemble commissioned six composers to write new works inspired by the culture and history of the state.

Ryan completed his DMA in Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music, where he was Teaching Assistant to Masumi Rostad. Prior to Eastman, Ryan studied at Indiana University-Jacobs School of Music (with Rostad) and at the University of North Texas, where he was the Teaching Fellow of Dr. Susan Dubois. Ryan completed his Bachelor of Music from Missouri State University, magna cum laude, under the tutelage of Dr. Amy Muchnick. As an undergraduate, Ryan was a National Finalist in the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist competition as well as the Chamber division with the William T. White String Quartet. Ryan is especially thankful for his preparatory studies with Dr. Susie Thierbach.

In May 2023, Ryan had the privilege of presenting Rebecca Clarke's Viola Sonata at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY celebrating the centennial of the composer herself performing the work in Eastman's front parlor in 1923.

School of Music Responsibilities

  • Applied Viola
  • Music History


  • Eastman School of Music, D.M.A.
  • University of North Texas, M.M.
  • Missouri State University, B.M.