BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) has announced the appointment of Ryan Bancroft as its new principal conductor.

Bancroft is to join BBC NOW in September 2020 for an initial three years, having first worked with the orchestra in November 2018. He joins conductor laureate Tadaaki Otaka, who extends his contract with BBC NOW for a further three years, and composer-in-association Huw Watkins.

‘I am beyond grateful to the extraordinary artists and staff at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for their warm welcome,’ comments Bancroft. ‘My passion is for the people who play music and the audiences who love it. That puts me in excellent company here in Wales. Our recipe for spellbinding performances combines our unique sounds and stories with equal parts collaboration, growth and vision. BBC NOW musicians know exactly how to craft inspiring concert thrills with these ingredients. We’re guaranteed to share unforgettable moments together with our audiences. What’s most exciting is that we’re just getting started!’

Born in Los Angeles, Bancroft studied trumpet at the California Institute of Arts before going on to study conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has since conducted the Stockholm Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Norwegian National Opera Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic and Het Gelders Orkest among others.

Describing Bancroft as a ‘remarkable young talent’, BBC Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies comments: ‘We’ve been lucky enough to work with Ryan already over the last year – and those intense, fluid performances underlined what a rare talent he is. I’ve no doubt his appointment as principal conductor with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales opens an exciting new chapter for music in Wales and beyond.’

Before formally starting in his new role, Bancroft will return to BBC NOW in May 2020 to conduct two ballet scores, Debussy’s Jeux and Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Ives’ Central Park in the Dark, and the world premiere of Sir Karl Jenkins’ Stravaganza, a commission for saxophonist Jess Gillam and BBC NOW (6 May 2020, Swansea and 7 May 2020, Cardiff).