Ryan Bancroft Wins Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2021 Conductor Award

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Principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) Ryan Bancroft (Music BFA 11, MFA 13) has been named the winner of the 2021 Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Conductor Award.

Established in 1813, the RPS is a British classical music society that annually awards across a range of categories, including composition, storytelling, and opera and musical theater. RPS members nominate classical musicians, and from the subsequent shortlists winners are selected by a panel of experts in the music profession. 

The awards are issued to amateur and professional musicians alike, with this year’s cycle emphasizing those who “have inspired the nation through the pandemic.” Bancroft was recognized for his “‘dedicated groundwork in Wales,’ and for his ‘electrifying’ concerts that ‘invigorated the [BBC NOW] orchestra’s repertoire, particularly in Black History Month.’”

See the full list of 2021 awardees on the official RPS website.

Bancroft will also be sharing the stage with esteemed Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta at this year’s Nobel Prize Concert on Monday, Dec. 8 at the Stockholms Konserthus in Stockholm. He will lead the orchestra with British composer Hannah Kendall’s 2017 work The Spark Catchers. Tickets for the concert, which will be held in-person and also virtually live-streamed, are currently on sale through the Stockholms Konserthus website

Bancroft is the recipient of the 2018 Malko Competition Prize, and was the subject of the cover story for the fourth issue of The Pool, CalArts’ biannual alumni magazine. In the issue, he credited the Institute as being the “single most pivotal institution [he has] ever been a part of.” Bancroft studied the trumpet during his CalArts studies, in addition to harp, flute, cello, dance, and Ghanaian music. He took up conducting during his MFA program, and continued his conducting training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Bancroft has gone on to conduct orchestras around the world, including the Stockholm Philharmonic and the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra before joining BBC NOW. 

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PUBLISHED BY Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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