BBC National Orchestra of Wales appoints new conductor

Ryan BancroftImage copyright
Benjamin Ealovega

Image caption

Ryan Bancroft has been described as a “rare and remarkable young talent”

Californian Ryan Bancroft has been appointed as the new principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW).

He has been hailed as “one of the most exciting musicians” of his generation and won the prestigious Malko Competition for Young Conductors last year.

The 29-year-old will formally take on the new role from September 2020.

He said the orchestra would share “unforgettable moments” with audiences.

“My passion is for the people who play music and the audiences who love it. That puts me in excellent company here in Wales,” he added.

“Our recipe for spellbinding performances combines our unique sounds and stories with equal parts of collaboration, growth and vision. BBC NOW musicians know exactly how to craft inspiring concert thrills with these ingredients.”

Image copyright
Benjamin Ealovega

Image caption

Mr Bancroft studied the trumpet alongside additional studies in harp, flute, cello and Ghanaian music and dance

Born in Los Angeles, where he studied trumpet at the California Institute of the Arts, he went on to study conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

He has conducted orchestras around the world, including the Stockholm Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony and Norwegian National Opera Orchestra. He has also premiered works by composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, John Cage and Anne LeBaron.

He first worked with BBC NOW in 2018, conducting Beethoven and Weber, and returned in May to conduct a contemporary programme as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival.

Rhodri Talfan Davies, BBC Wales director, said Mr Bancroft was a “remarkable and rare young talent”.

Alan Davey, controller of BBC Proms and the BBC Orchestras and Choirs, added: “This will be a tremendous opportunity for him and this fine orchestra to explore what an orchestra can be in the 21st century, and bring exciting music-making to the people of Wales, as well as represent Wales nationally and internationally.”

Conductor laureate Tadaaki Otaka has also extended his contract with BBC NOW for a further three years.

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