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, combining an increasingly busy concert schedule with his studies as a second year student at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
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 album entered the Official UK Album charts at number 18, and has spent many weeks at number 1 in the Classical chart. In June 2018, Sheku received the Male Artist of the Year and the Critics’ Choice Classic BRIT awards, and in July 2018 became the first recipient of the BRIT Certified Breakthrough Award.
Sheku has already performed with many of the UK’s most important orchestras and the 18/19 and 19/20 seasons include debuts with the Seattle Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Atlanta Symphony, and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra as well as a performance at the Vienna Musikverein with the Japan Philharmonic.
In recital, Sheku made his London debut at King’s Place in October 2017 and in 2018 and 2019 will perform at the Barbican Centre’s Milton Court, the Wigmore Hall, Zurich Tonhalle, Lucerne Festival and on a major tour of the USA.
In 2018, Sheku returned to the BBC Proms, following his Proms debut in 2017. As the first London Music Masters Junior Ambassador, he believes firmly that music should be accessible to all and is a strong advocate of the importance of music education in schools. In 18/19, he serves as ‘Young Artist in Residence’ at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
In 2017 Sheku received the South Bank Sky Arts Breakthrough Award and in February 2018, he performed ‘Evening of Roses’ at the BAFTAS Awards show at the Royal Albert Hall, with four of his six siblings, the first time any artist has been invited to perform during the ceremony two years running.
Sheku is a full-time ABRSM Scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Hannah Roberts. He plays an Antonius and Hieronymus Amati cello c.1610, kindly on loan from a private collection.