As a cellist, Ryan has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Pasadena and Santa Barbara  symphonies and Pasadena Pops. He has also been a performer for the soundtracks of major Hollywood motion pictures, including films scored by artists such as James Horner, Hans Zimmer, Christopher Young and Rupert Gregson-Williams.

Ryan is a founding member of the Fiato Quartet [] – along with LACO violinist Carrie Kennedy – which performs numerous concerts throughout Southern California every season. As a soloist, he made his solo orchestral debut in 2002 with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles and later soloed with the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra at the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall in Evanston, Illinois. He has appeared in recital in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New Jersey, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Ryan is not the first in his family to be a member of LACO. His mother, Polly Sweeney, was a member of the 2nd violin section from 1978 to 1992. He attended his first LACO concert at the age of five. Ryan lives in San Gabriel with his wife Nicky and three children: Colin, Nathan and Hanna.