Dr. Ryan Somerville is best known for his innovative score work for immersive visual productions. As a composer, arranger, and music producer for film, theater, dance, and video games, he has collaborated with a number of innovative musical acts and visionaries. His first major break came in 2009 when his string quintet “Sono Quel Che Sono” was premiered by the Edinburgh Quartet at London’s King Place and featured on Hear and Now BBC Radio 3. Somerville followed that success with an encore performance of “Embrace The Absurdity” by the Diotima Quartet. That same year, he produced a concert of his own work featuring his self-created orchestra and the Edinburgh Quartet at the Reid Concert Hall. For 2014’s “Iskwé at the Music Gallery,” Somerville worked alongside Indigenous Canadian artist Iskwé, arranging and co-composing the score for piano quintet and live-electronics.
Notable recent music credits include “She Runs” (2019) a short film by Qiu Yang which was awarded the Leitz Cine Discovery Prize at Semaine de la Critique Cannes 2019 and is now being shown at TIFF, New York Film Festival, and BFI London Film Festival , “Millenials” (2019) a ballet by B. Dance Company which was premiered at the National Theatre Taipei, and “Demon In The Mirror” (2018) a theatrical production by National Taichung Theatre’s artist-in-residence Andy Yen.
Recognized for his artistic prowess and leadership, he has held a residency at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China, and an Artistic Associate position at the Banff Centre.
Born in Princeton, Somerville earned his B.A. in music studies from William Paterson University. He went on to complete a M.Mus. and Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Edinburgh and acted as an Associated Staff member, tutoring in counterpoint and music theory at the school from 2009-2012. His Ph.D. research focused on developing collaborations between artists from different practices in order to expand the musical world by redefining its creative process. Through this work he also sought to explore the experience of music in private and public spaces, and the dissemination of music. Bringing together an interdisciplinary and collaborative team of animators, composers, filmmakers, illustrators, musicians, sculptors, web designers, and writers, the research culminated in De Novo and Sounds In The Haar: Nights In Edinburgh.