International Contemporary Ensemble mourns key player

International Contemporary Ensemble mourns key player


norman lebrecht

July 23, 2022

The International Contemporary Ensemble has announced the death of its saxophonist Ryan Muncy.

No further details have been given.

The ICE says:
It is with deep sadness that I write to share the news of Ryan Muncy’s passing. Ryan’s monumental legacy as a performer, curator, and administrator enriched and transformed our field both nationally and internationally in profound ways.

Few saxophonists have contributed to the instrument’s repertoire and chamber music prominence as much as Ryan did during his lifetime. As a tireless advocate and commissioner of new music for saxophone, his unique combination of otherworldly virtuosity and exquisite sensibility captured the imagination of composers like Ash Fure, Tyshawn Sorey, Wang Lu, Marcos Balter, Steven Takasugi, Chaya Czernowin, George Lewis, Du Yun, Wojtek Blecharz, Anthony Cheung, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Erin Gee, Nathan Davis, and Matana Roberts, among many others. His work emphasized collaborative relationships with composers and artists of his generation and aimed to reimagine the way listeners experience the saxophone through contemporary music. He participated in the creation of more than 100 new works for the instrument.


  • Tea says:

    It is interesting that in all the many, many social media posts about this outstanding musician’s death (from friends, colleagues, academia, record labels, etc.), there is not one word about the cause of death.

    • Bone says:

      One hates to speculate about the cause, but “natural causes,” “long illness,” “surrounded by family,” etc. tend to diminish the curiosity.
      That said, RIP.

      • Tea says:

        “natural causes,” “long illness,” “surrounded by family,”
        None of those, or any causes, used.

  • John Porter says:

    Stating the cause of death would also be helpful for his students, no matter how he died. A terrific performer and I hear a wonderful person. The loss is being taken very hard, I hear, in the musician community.

  • Mike says:

    Let the man rest in peace