Remembering Ryan Anthony (1969-2020)

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is deeply saddened by the passing of Principal Trumpet Emeritus and great friend Ryan Anthony. Ryan was an incredible leader and a musician beyond compare. Music was the center of his life, and that was felt by everyone around him. He was revered by brass players for his talent, and he was loved by his colleagues for his friendship, joy and exuberance.

Ryan Anthony joined the DSO as guest principal trumpet in 2004, became Interim Principal Trumpet in 2006 and assumed the Diane & Hal Brierley Principal Trumpet Chair in 2008. His clarion notes rang through the Meyerson to open Mahler’s Fifth Symphony at the start of Jaap van Zweden’s tenure as Music Director, a moment he remembered fondly. Anthony was a leader of the orchestra as soon as he arrived in Dallas, as a unifying voice, a collaborative spirit, and as an anchor of sound of the brass section. His commitment to music making at the highest level was palpable, and his devotion was evident to every player.

Beyond the stage, Ryan helped to shape the future of the DSO. He served as a Dallas Symphony Association Governor by Virtue of Position since the 2012/13 Season. He also was among the principal players who served on the search committee for Music Director Fabio Luisi. In recognition of his incredible contributions to the orchestra, Ryan Anthony was named Principal Trumpet Emeritus in June 2019.

In 2012, he was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the blood and bone marrow, multiple myeloma. Ryan fought the disease for many years, and we were awed by his resilience and strength. He seemed unstoppable when he returned to work a few months after receiving a stem cell transplant. Following his diagnosis, he dedicated his performances and his time to using music to promote cancer research. The Ryan Anthony Foundation was founded in 2014. In 2015, the Dallas Symphony hosted Cancer Blows, the signature concert event of the foundation and an important vehicle for musicians and audiences to unite in finding a cure.

“I will miss his friendship and his wise counsel,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO. “It is rare to meet a person with all of Ryan’s gifts: passion, tenacity, diplomacy, humanity and an immeasurable love of music. He was much-loved and an inspiration to so many of us. His legacy will be felt forever at the Dallas Symphony. We mourn alongside his wonderful wife Niki and his two children, who will always be part of the DSO family.”

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