Michael Van Ryn

Michael Van Ryn is Principal Double Bass with the Des Moines Symphony. He holds degrees in music performance from the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, and the University of Southern California. He has also held principal positions with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles.

Most memorable experience with the Orchestra

My favorite Des Moines Symphony moments are whenever we play the music of Wagner.

How I got started playing my instrument

Music has always been a big part of my life and upbringing and I always knew I wanted to play the violin. In 5th grade, after considering just about every other orchestral instrument, I began violin lessons and I switched to bass violin after 8th grade.

Favorite solo piece

One of my favorite bass "solo" pieces is Mozart's Per Questa Bella Mano. It was written for bass and bass singer.

Other than classical music _____ is on my iPod

Other than classical or orchestral or western music I enjoy listening to just about anything. Anything from today's top 40 to music from other eras and areas of the world. There's a lot out there!