19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason captured the hearts of audiences around the world with his “stunning” (The Telegraph) performance of Schubert’s “Ave Maria”, Fauré’s “Après un rêve” and Maria Theresia von Paradis’ Sicilienne at The Royal Wedding on 19 May.
He shared behind-the-scenes videos and photos of his preparation and clips from the event as the first classical musician to take over the official Instagram Stories account, followed by 235 million people.
Following the “breathtaking” (CNN) performance, his Decca debut album Inspiration rocket up the charts taking the #1 spot overall on Amazon and iTunes.
Sheku said: “It was such an awesome moment. The atmosphere was amazing and I’m proud to have played a small part in the celebrations. It’s a day I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Sheku’s debut album, Inspiration, made chart history when it was released in the UK in January of this year as the only BBC Young Musician winner and youngest cellist to ever break into the Top 20 overall albums with a debut recording. The album features his 5-star performance of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as well as music that has inspired him throughout his musical journey including works by Offenbach, Casals, and Saint-Saëns and his own arrangement of Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry was also featured on the album, and went viral on social media, clocking 1 million streams in its first month on Spotify alone.
He is currently a full-time student at the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying with Hannah Roberts. He began learning the cello at the age of six with Sarah Huson-Whyte and then studied with Ben Davies at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music where he held the ABRSM Junior Scholarship.
Sheku plays an Antonius and Hieronymus Amati cello c.1610, kindly on loan from a private collection.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason is managed by Enticott Music Management, in association with IMG Artists.