Ryan Layne Whitney was born in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., in 1953, and has lived in the environs of that city all his life—he lives there now, and will probably die there. A degree in music composition is the official result of his university education, but he is also an avid and reasonably accomplished classical pianist, clavichordist, and harpsichordist: one can see many of his videos on YouTube under the channel name "teafruitbat." His favorite composers range from Bach and Scarlatti to Rachmaninoff and Scriabin—and many in between.
Mr. Whitney teaches piano, harpsichord, clavichord, and other classical music subjects in Seattle; his teaching profile may be seen here (Learning Musician).
In 2016 Mr. Whitney edited and published an edition of the 30 Sonatas for Harpsichord by the 18th-century Spanish composer Sebastián de Albero (ISBN: 978-1-329-66028-1), and is working on the same composer's Obras para Clavicordio (or Works for Harpsichord — "clavicordio" was a term for the harpsichord in early 18th century Spain) to be published in 2017 or 2018. An edition of the clavichord works of the 18th century German composer Ernst Wilhelm Wolf looms in the future.
A devoted reader and collector of books, Mr. Whitney has written The Primal Shrug, a humorous but eminently useful self-help book, and Episodes from the Life of Gideon Millwater, which is not in the least useful. He is currently working on a complete newly typeset edition of The Works of Charles Robert Maturin, the early-19th-century Irish author of Melmoth the Wanderer.
His interests in literature include ancient classics (and his study of ancient Greek language, though somewhat desultory, is sincere and absorbing), philosophy, mostly 17th- through 19th-century literature (English, Russian, Portuguese, French, German, and American, mainly), and poetry from Homer to Wallace Stevens. As for writing poetry, he has no talent for it, save for doggerel verse of a peculiarly unedifying nature.
His quiet life of study and contemplation is devoted to music, books, and a few friends.
Ryan Layne Whitney illustration by Karen Birchfield