Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Cello

Sheku Kanneh-Mason is managed in association with Enticott Music Management

Biography

Sheku Kanneh-Mason is the 2016 BBC Young Musician, a title he won with a stunning performance of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto at London’s Barbican Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In April 2017, Sheku returned to the hall for another performance of the concerto, this time with the National Youth Orchestra and Carlos Miguel Prieto after which the Guardian wrote that “technically superb and eloquent in his expressivity, he held the capacity audience spellbound with an interpretation of exceptional authority” and the Telegraph acknowledged “what a remarkable musician he already is, bringing other- worldly tone to the haunting slow movement and displaying mature musicianship in his handling of the extended cadenza”

Only eighteen years old, Sheku’s international career is developing very quickly with engagements in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons including the CBSO, the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Newbury Spring Festival, a return to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Barcelona Symphony, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (his debut at the Concertgebouw), Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (Sheku’s concerto debut in North America), Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Seattle and Atlanta symphonies. He will also return to the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform the Elgar Concerto in his hometown of Nottingham and make his debut at the Vienna Konzerthaus with the Japan Philharmonic.
In recital, Sheku has several concerts across the UK with highlights over the next two seasons including his debuts at Kings Place as part of their Cello Unwrapped series, Milton Court, and Wigmore Hall. He will also perform a series of concerts in Canada in December 2017, and further recitals at the Zurich Tonhalle, and the Lucerne Festival.

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Reviews

“[Kanneh-Mason’s] own cadenzas have compelling musical logic, his pianissimos were magical, his encore arrangement of a Jewish folksong spellbinding; … you aren’t ever going to hear this Haydn concerto more engagingly performed.”

David Nice

The Arts Desk

“Many of the enthusiastic audience had clearly come to see last year’s BBC Young Musician winner, the cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. They were rewarded with a stylish performance as the soloist in Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C (Hob VIIb/1). In the central adagio, Kanneh-Mason balanced expressive singing tone with careful, instinctive, dynamic shading. He took the allegro molto at fearless, breakneck speed, the passage work impressively controlled. A solo encore was further testimony to his prodigious gift, and his arrangement of a traditional Jewish song was plangent and subtly elaborated.”

Rian Evans

The Guardian

“Kanneh-Mason is a player who makes you tune in to every nuance of articulation, every subtle shading, every eloquent turn of phrase. Here, joined for this same concerto by his fiercely talented peers in the National Youth Orchestra, he showed us why he won the competition. He performed with urgency and bite, impeccable technique and, in the second movement, exquisite line as the cello sang its sotto voce hymn to the night.”

Rebecca Franks

The Times

“Technically superb and eloquent in his expressivity, he held the capacity audience spellbound with an interpretation of exceptional authority.”

George Hall

The Guardian

“Last year’s BBC Young Musician winner, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, returned to the scene of his victory with the same work, the Russian composer’s First Cello Concerto. Digging in with gripping attack yet also plenty of nuance, he showed what a remarkable musician he already is, bringing other-worldly tone to the haunting slow movement and displaying mature musicianship in his handling of the extended cadenza”

John Allison

The Telegraph

“Kanneh-Mason gave an astonishingly assured performance. The strength of Kanneh-Mason’s approach was that it was so nuanced; this, plus his technical command, led to a memorable account.”

Colin Clarke

Classical Source