In April 2018, Ryan Bancroft won both First Prize and Audience Prize at the prestigious Malko Competition for Young Conductors in Copenhagen. His conducting, without a baton, impressed the jury, players and audience alike, and drew high praise for its natural fluidity.
During the various rounds of the competition, the young American conducted repertoire as diverse as Beethoven, Schumann, Mahler, Ruders, Dvořák, Brahms, and Nielsen with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. In the 18/19 season Bancroft made debuts with orchestras across Europe, including the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Netherlands Reisopera, BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Norwegian National Opera orchestras.
In the 19/20 season, highlights include debuts with Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, RAI Turin, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra and Malmo Symphony orchestra. Bancroft also returns for engagements with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In the USA, he will make his debuts with the Seattle and Cincinnati symphony orchestras. Bancroft will also have his debut concerts in China, where he will be working with the NCPA Orchestra in Beijing amongst others.
A strong advocate of new music, Bancroft 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.
Born in Los Angeles, Bancroft studied the 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 with Distinction from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in orchestral conducting. While studying in Scotland he conducted orchestras such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the contemporary music ensemble, RedNote. He also played trumpet with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on many occasions.
Bancroft continued his studies in the Netherlands, where he is now based, and is a graduate of the prestigious Nationale Master Orkestdirectie through 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.
“It was not just the professional Jury who had fallen for the young American... The audience at DR Concert Hall also chose Ryan Bancroft as their favorite in this year's Malko Competition."