Hailed by Montréal’s La Presse as “nuanced and singing,” Ryan Little was appointed as Principal Horn of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2023 by Music Director Nathalie Stutzmann. Born in Burke, Virginia to a musical family, he began studying piano at age 3 before switching to viola, trumpet, and eventually to horn at the age of 10. Ryan received his B.M. from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music in 2015 where he studied with Gail Williams and Jonathan Boen. In 2017 he received his M.M. degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he studied with William VerMeulen of the Houston Symphony.
In addition to his responsibilities in Atlanta, Ryan performs as the Principal Horn at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. He has performed as Guest Principal Horn with the orchestras of Cincinnati, Frankfurt Radio, Minnesota, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, Vancouver, and WDR Cologne, and has also performed with the Chicago Arts Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Florida Grand Opera, Florida Orchestra, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Nu Deco Ensemble, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony. He won Second Prize and the Gretchen Snedeker Prize at the 2013 International Horn Competition of America. In 2014, he was selected as a finalist for the International Horn Society’s Premier Soloist Competition in London, England and at the Aeolus International Competition for Wind Instruments in Düsseldorf, Germany. As a concert soloist, he has performed with the Florida Gulf Coast University Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Northwestern University’s Baroque Music Ensemble and Symphonic Wind Ensemble, l’Orchestre de la Francophonie (Montréal), and the Skokie Valley Symphony.
During the summers Ryan has performed at the Britt Music & Arts Festival, Grant Park Music Festival, Lakes Area Music Festival, and Sun Valley Music Festival. He also participated as a fellow in the Castleton Festival, Lucerne Festival Academy, National Orchestral Institute + Festival, l’Orchestre de la Francophonie, Spoleto Festival USA, Tanglewood Music Center, Verbier Festival, and YOA Orchestra of the Americas. Ryan performs on instruments made in 2012 and 2022 by Karl Hill of Rockford, Michigan.