P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Ryaan Ahmed, 2013

MM, University of Rochester

Ryaan Ahmed is an immigrant from United Kingdom

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MM in Early Music at University of Rochester

Ryaan was born in the UK to physicians from Bangladesh. They immigrated to the United States when he was seven. Throughout high school he was drawn to music: he studied classical guitar, played in rock and jazz bands, and sang in choirs.

When Ryaan went on to Harvard he intended to pursue a degree in neurobiology and then a career in medicine. As a freshman, however, he discovered the lute and was soon playing in an opera pit and a baroque orchestra.

During a three semester break from Harvard, Ryaan worked as a lab technician and a freelance musician. This experience cemented his intention to pursue a career in music. Upon returning to Harvard, he directed the Harvard Early Music Society, a baroque opera company, and the Harvard Chamber Singers, a choir for Renaissance music.

As a digital musicologist, Ryaan has applied machine translation techniques to decode early musical notation, and has used statistical methods to analyze Monteverdi madrigals.

A student of Douglas Freundich and Patrick O'Brian, Ryaan will continue his studies with Paul O'Dette as part of his study for an MM degree in early music at the Eastman School of Music.

  • MM Early Music | University of Rochester 2015
  • BA Computer Science | Harvard University 2012
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