In the summer of 2014 I relocated from Southern California to the Bay Area. Since arriving in the Bay Area I’ve performed numerous times with the Pacific Chamber Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, California Symphony, Merced Symphony, One Found Sound, Pied Piper Players, among many others. While in SoCal, I performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic multiple times, recorded and performed with the San Diego Symphony, and performed with many other orchestras, ballets, and operas. I was Principal Oboe of Orchestra Nova in San Diego and Co-Principal Oboe of the California Chamber Orchestra in Temecula. I’ve had concerto appearances with the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra, Les Sauvages Americains, and Definiens.
An avid chamber musician, I have been a member of the Vientos Trio (winner of the 2011 Beverly Hills Auditions), West Coast Wind Quintet (Finalist in the 2013 San Diego Chamber Music Competition), Definiens, Santa Monica Symphony Wind Quintet, and many more.
I have studied oboe with Nancy Ambrose King (University of Michigan), Martin Shuring (Arizona State University), and Marion Kuszyk (Los Angeles Philharmonic).
I teach out of my home in Redwood City and travel to Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, San Carlos, Belmont, and Woodside.
Ryan is one of Southern California’s most sought-after oboists. He has performed multiple times with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Diego Symphony under the batons of Zubin Mehta and Bramwell Tovey. Additionally, he has played with many orchestras in the region including San Diego’s Orchestra Nova, LA Ballet, Culver City Chamber Orchestra, Riverside Philharmonic, Bakersfield Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Santa Monica Symphony, and the Center Stage Opera Orchestra. From 2009-2012 he joined the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Washington) as Principal Oboe. Zwahlen has also been featured in the recording studio on feature films and commercials.
Zwahlen’s passion for music is not limited to orchestral performance. He is deeply committed to chamber music as the Executive Director of the Definiens, a non-profit, contemporary chamber music organization. Thanks largely to his leadership, Definiens has been the ensemble-in-residence at the Idyllwild Arts Academy since 2012. Residency activities have also been conducted at UCLA, Biola University, CSU Bakersfield, and USC. In 2009 and 2010, Definiens was the Resident Ensemble of the Fresno New Music Festival. Ryan’s other chamber music activities have included the Tonoi Ensemble, LA Harmonie Ensemble, Santa Monica Symphony Wind Quintet, as well as the awarding Vientos Trio and West Coast Wind Quintet.
Ryan has also been featured as a conductor. Working with composer, Alexander Elliott Miller, Ryan conducted the premiere and subsequent performance of, Brassica: A Song Cycle on Genetic Engineering, with soprano soloist, Tony Arnold. He has conducted works at the 2009 and 2010 Fresno New Music Festival, as well as David Conte’s opera, America Tropical (libretto by Oliver Mayer) in October 2010 as part of USC’s Vision and Voices program at USC, The Autry National Center, Pico House and again in 2012 through a production funded by The Getty in downtown Los Angeles.
In the fall of 2010, Ryan joined the faculty of the Idyllwild Arts Academy as Chair of the Music Department. He has taught at both UCLA and Citrus College in California and he joined the faculty of the Las Vegas Music Festival for its 2006 season. He has also committed his time and energy to the Children’s Music Workshop of Los Angeles and to the Santa Monica/Malibu United School District.
His debut solo CD, “In the City at Night,” consists of eight solo English horn pieces all written for him. Zwahlen was also featured on a CD of wind chamber music by Jenni Brandon.
Ryan has attended ULCA, Arizona State University, and the University of Illinois studying with Marion Kuszyk, Martin Schuring, and Nancy Ambrose King.