Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Cello

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

Biography

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, one of the brightest young stars on the classical music scene, became a household name worldwide in May 2018 after performing at the Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle. His performance was greeted with universal excitement after being watched by nearly two billion people globally.

The winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, Sheku is already in great demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide. In January 2018, his debut recording for Decca Classics, Inspiration, was released, featuring the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. The phenomenal success of the album propelled Sheku to a debut spot at number 18 in the Official UK Album charts, and number 1 in the Classical chart. Alongside short works by Shostakovich, Offenbach, Casals, and Saint-Saëns, Sheku’s 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. In June 2018, Sheku received the Male Artist of the Year and the Critics’ Choice awards at the re-launched Classic BRIT Awards, and in July 2018 became the first artist to receive the new BRIT Certified Breakthrough Award, having sold over 30,000 copies of his debut album in the UK and surpassing 100,000 album sales worldwide.

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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