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Ryan Bancroft

About this Artist

Ryan Bancroft grew up in Los Angeles and first came to international attention in April 2018 when he won both First Prize and Audience Prize at the prestigious Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen. Since September 2021, Bancroft has been principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In 2021, Bancroft was invited to become Artist in Association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Finland and named chief conductor designate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.  

Since winning the Malko Competition, Bancroft has made debuts with leading European orchestras including the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Orchestre Nationale du Capitole de Toulouse, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, RAI Torino, and the Ensemble Intercontemporain. In North America, he has worked with the Toronto Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and Houston Symphony and debuted in the 2022/23 season with the Dallas Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. The 2022/23 season also saw Bancroft make his debut at Suntory Hall with the New Japan Philharmonic and Midori, at the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia and Stephen Hough, and at the Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Philharmonic. 

Bancroft has a passion for contemporary music and has performed with Amsterdam’s acclaimed Nieuw Ensemble, assisted Pierre Boulez in a performance of his Sur Incises in Los Angeles, premiered works by Sofia Gubaidulina, John Cage, James Tenney, and Anne LeBaron, and has worked closely with improvisers such as Wadada Leo Smith and Charlie Haden. 

Bancroft studied trumpet at the California Institute of the Arts, alongside additional studies in harp, flute, cello, and Ghanaian music and dance. He then went on to receive an MMus in orchestral conducting from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. While studying in Scotland, he played trumpet with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on many occasions. He continued his conducting studies in the Netherlands and is a graduate of the prestigious Nationale Master Orkestdirectie run jointly by the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. His main mentors were Edward Carroll, Kenneth Montgomery, Ed Spanjaard, and Jac van Steen.