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. In September 2019 it was announced that Bancroft had been appointed Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. This role began in the 20-21 season. 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.
Since winning the Malko Competition Bancroft has made debuts with a number of international orchestras including the BBC Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Rai Torino and Norwegian National Opera Orchestras. In North America he has been invited by the Toronto Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony amongst others. Forthcoming debuts include those with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and Iceland Symphony. In 2021, Bancroft was announced as Chief Conductor Designate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.
Bancroft has a passion for contemporary music and has performed with Amsterdamās 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. In the 21/22 season he will make his debut with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris.
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.