Born in Los Angeles, Ryan Bancroft studied the trumpet at the California Institute of the Arts, alongside additional studies in harp, flute, cello, Ghanaian music and dance. He went on to receive an MMus with Distinction from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in orchestral conducting. While in Scotland, he regularly 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.
He continued his studies in the Netherlands, where he is now based, and is a graduate of the prestigious Nationale Master Orkestdirectie through the Conservatoire of Amsterdam and the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. While studying, he was given the opportunity to work with several Dutch and European orchestras including the Netherlands Philharmonic, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Prague Symphony, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Residentie, Netherlands Symphony, Gulbenkian Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands. His main mentors have included Edward Carroll, Kenneth Montgomery, Ed Spanjaard, and Jac van Steen.
In April 2018 Ryan Bancroft won the 1st Prize and the 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, intense focus, and the beautiful shaping of the music. During the various rounds of the Competition, the young American conducted repertoire as diverse as Beethoven, Schumann, Mahler, Ruders, Wagner, Dvořák, Brahms, and Nielsen with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Over the next seasons, as First Prizewinner, he will have 24 engagements with many leading orchestras from Scandinavia, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, and China as well as return engagements with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. In addition he will receive mentorship from Maestro Fabio Luisi.
A strong advocate of new music, Ryan 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.