- Nicholas Tawa
(b Ireland, 1827; d New Bedford, MA, March 5, 1903). American viola player and clarinetist, born in Ireland. Ryan was born to a musical family in Ireland. He arrived in the USA at age 17 and settled in Boston in May 1845. Four years later, he was instrumental in forming Boston’s Mendelssohn Quintette Club, one of the oldest and most important chamber-music societies in 19th-century America. He insisted that the Club should hold to the highest standards in repertoire and performance, and imbued its members with his energy and audiences with his devotion to art music. He had the chamber group give concerts in small towns and large cities from Maine to California. It also paid visits to Canada, Australia, and the Hawaiian Islands. Ryan remained active as its violist, clarinetist, and manager until it disbanded in 1895. He also performed in concerts of the Boston Academy of Music, the Musical Fund Society, the Orchestral Union, the Harvard Musical Association, and the Boston SO (...