I am a professional cellist native to the Pasadena, California area. I frequently perform with the Los Angeles Opera, Pasadena Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Pasadena Pops Orchestras. I am also an active performer for the soundtracks of major Hollywood motion pictures including “Spider-Man 3”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”, “All the King’s Men”, and “Click”.
This website is a resource for both current and prospective students who are interested in taking cello lessons. There are valuable online and local vendors that you can find in the Resources section, as well as recommendations on the scale books I use with my students and tools that I use myself. Los Angeles is an exciting place for muscial growth, so you will also find interesting events to attend by visiting the News section. Please feel free to explore the site. There is plenty of great content that will be of interest to any young cellist.
My studio is open to beginning students and experienced cellists through college level. If you would like to learn more about my credentials and teaching style please take a look below for my full bio.
My Teaching Philosophy
It is my belief that a teacher’s desire to educate and train must equal or even exceed that of a student’s desire to learn. The responsibility I have given myself of inspiring my students to surpass their expectations is one that I embrace fully. It is my intention that my students consistently push themselves to the peak of their abilities, and I know that with hard work and intelligent practice my students will be limited only by their desire to succeed.
Ryan Sweeney is widely regarded as an exceptionally talented cellist and an inspiring pedagogue. Through his years of experience and his high level of training, he has come to be considered by many as one of the highly promising musicians of his generation.
A graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Mr. Sweeney returned to his home town of Pasadena, California in 2005 to pursue his career as a performing artist and to help young cellists develop their own talents. During this time, Mr. Sweeney has frequently performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Pasadena Symphony Orchestra, and Pasadena Pops. He is also an active performer for the soundtracks of major Hollywood motion pictures. His credits include “Spider-Man 3”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”, “All the King’s Men”, and “Click”.
Because of his particular passion for shaping the abilities of young cellists, Mr. Sweeney has been involved in music education for some time. He has been teaching privately since 2001, working with students in Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, New York, and Los Angeles. In addition to private teaching, Mr. Sweeney has served as a coach for the North Shore Cello Choir in Evanston, Illinois, chamber music instructor at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, California, and currently coaches the cello sections of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Youth Chamber Orchestra, and Huntington Middle School Advanced Orchestra. His students currently hold positions in the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra, Huntington Middle School Advanced Orchestra, and Harvard Westlake Middle School Symphony Orchestra. During the 2004 and 2005 seasons of the notable Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, New York, Mr. Sweeney served as the teaching assistant to the school’s Director, Owen Carman.
Throughout his twenty eight years of study and experience, Mr. Sweeney has had the distinction of being mentored by cellists that could only be described as “world-class”. During his time at Rice University, Mr. Sweeney was one of the privileged few selected to study with the renowned soloist Lynn Harrell. Before earning his Master’s degree in Cello Performance at Rice University, he received his Bachelor of Music from the Northwestern University School of Music. His four years of undergraduate study were the last of a twelve year period spent studying with the highly celebrated pedagogue, Hans JØrgen Jensen. During the course of his secondary education at the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California, Mr. Sweeney was a student of the then principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Professor of Cello at the University of Southern California, Ronald Leonard. His early years were spent under the tutelage of the widely recognized soloist and current principal cellist of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, John Walz. In addition to those cellists with whom he studied, Mr. Sweeney has also been selected to play in master classes given by Janos Starker, Ralph Kirschbaum, and Ko Iwasaki
In addition to the musical knowledge he acquired through the remarkable lineage of his cello teachers, Mr. Sweeney has also learned from the finest chamber musicians in the world. At the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival Mr. Sweeney was one of five musicians selected to participate in an intense training session where he was coached by the likes of the American String Quartet and Hillary Hahn. At Rice University his quartet held the distinction of performing for both the Tokyo String Quartet and the Guarneri String Quartet. He has also collaborated and performed with the great violinist Pinchas Zuckerman.
Mr. Sweeney has been awarded many prizes from prestigious competitions including; the Women’s Association of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Society of American Musicians Young Artist Competition in Chicago, and the Northwestern University School of Music concerto competition. In 2002, he made his solo debut with the YMF Debut Orchestra at the Wilshire Ebel Theater in Beverly Hills and later performed with the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra at the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall in Evanston, Illinois. Mr. Sweeney has appeared in recital in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New Jersey, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem.