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 21/22 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 sees him open the season with the orchestra’s first performance of Sven-David Sandström’s The High Mass, together with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir. Throughout the season Bancroft will continue to conduct a wide range of repertoire with the orchestra, 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 Orchestra and Eric Lu, before making his debut with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Festival alongside Mao Fujita. He will also make debuts with the San Francisco and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras, and return to Toronto Symphony in the 23/24 season, following performances in previous seasons with the Minnesota, Baltimore, Houston and Dallas Symphony Orchestras.
The 23/24 season also sees Bancroft make debuts with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra with Joshua Bell, the Orquesta Sinfonica Castilla y Lyon with Martin Fröst, and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic with Bomsori Kim, and return to the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia and Renaud Capuçon. This follows a series of debuts at major international venues in the 22/23 season for Bancroft, including at the Suntory Hall with the New Japan Philharmonic and Midori, the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia and Sir Stephen Hough, and at the Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Philharmonic.
Since winning the Malko Competition Bancroft has conducted a number of other leading European orchestras including the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Orchestre Nationale du Capitole de Toulouse, City of Birmingham Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Rai Torino 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, 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. As a student, his main mentors were Edward Carroll, Kenneth Montgomery, Ed Spanjaard and Jac van Steen.
Livestreams & Broadcasts
Philharmonia Orchestra | March 2021
Mozart: Piano Concerto No.27 in B-flat major, K.595
Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67
Available from 25 March 2021, 7.30pm
Tapiola Sinfonietta | April 2021
Benjamin Britten: Les Illuminations Op. 18
Charles Ives: The Unanswered Question
Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen for 23 strings
Available from 1 April 2021, 7.00pm
London Philharmonic Orchestra | May 2021
Arvo Pärt: Fratres
Mozart: Symphony No.35 in D major, K.385 'Haffner'
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35
Available from Wednesday 12 May 2021, 8.00pm
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra | May 2021
Lalo: Symphonie espagnole, Op.21
Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947 version)
Available from 6 May 2021, 12:15pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Munich Chamber Orchestra
National Arts Centre, Ottawa Orchestra
Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
"Bancroft emphatically [shows] he is one of the most interesting conductors of his generation."
"An open hearted, emotional musician."
"An energetic yet graceful conductor... a performance of astonishing poignancy that was beautifully conducted"