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Ryan Bancroft

Ryan Bancroft Headshot


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. Following his first visit to work with the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Finland, Bancroft was invited to become their artist in association from the 2021-22 season onwards. In 2021, Bancroft was announced as chief conductor designate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and took up the chief conductor position in September 2023.

Bancroft’s first season as chief conductor in Stockholm saw him open the season with the orchestra’s first performance of Sven-David Sandström’s The High Mass with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir. Throughout the season Bancroft conducted a wide range of repertoire, including premieres by Börtz and Hillborg, whilst working with soloists including Emanuel Ax and Seong-Jin Cho.

Bancroft returned to Los Angeles to make his Hollywood Bowl debut in August 2023 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Eric Lu, before making his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Festival alongside Mao Fujita. He also made debuts with the San Francisco Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and returned to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the 2023-24 season following performances in previous seasons with the Minnesota Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

The 2023-24 season also saw Bancroft make debuts with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra with Joshua Bell; the Orquesta Sinfonica Castilla y Lyon with Martin Fröst; the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic with Bomsori Kim; and returned to the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Renaud Capuçon. These appearances follow a series of debuts at major international venues in the 2022-23 season for Bancroft, including at the Suntory Hall with the New Japan Philharmonic and Midori; the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Sir Stephen Hough; and at the Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since winning the Malko Competition, Bancroft has conducted a number of other leading European orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Orchestre nationale du Capitole de Toulouse, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, and the Ensemble InterContemporain.

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 went on to receive an M.Mus. 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. As a student, his main mentors were Edward Carroll, Kenneth Montgomery, Ed Spanjaard, and Jac van Steen.

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