Sheku Kanneh-Mason is already in great demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide.
He became a household name in 2018 after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle, his performance having been greeted with universal excitement after being watched by nearly two billion people globally.
Sheku initially garnered renown as the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, the first Black musician to take the title. A Decca Classics recording artist, Sheku’s latest album, Song, showcases his lyrical playing with a wide selection of arrangements and collaborations. His 2020 album Elgar reached No. 8 in the main UK Official Album Chart, making Sheku the first ever cellist to reach the UK Top 10. Sheet music collections of his performance repertoire along with his own arrangements and compositions are published by Faber.
In the 22/23 season, Sheku appears as Artist in Residence with the Philharmonia Orchestra, performing three concerti across the year in addition to chamber music and giving educational workshops. He also performs with orchestras such as the London Mozart Players, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Camerata Salzburg, Hallé Orchestra, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In the Americas, Sheku features as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Boston Symphony, São Paulo Symphony, and on tour with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He also performs his first solo cello recital programme in venues such as Wigmore Hall London, National Concert Hall Dublin, Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona, Auditorio Nacional de Música Madrid, Musée du Louvre Paris, and De Doelen Rotterdam and returns to the Dortmund Konzerthaus as one of their Junge Wilde artists.
Since his debut in 2017, Sheku has performed every summer at the BBC Proms, including in 2020 when he gave a breath-taking recital performance with his sister, Isata, to an empty auditorium due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He was selected to appear in the coveted role as guest soloist at the 2022 Last Night of the Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Sheku studied at the Academy alongside Hannah Roberts and was appointed in May 2022 as the Academy’s first Menuhin Visiting Professor of Performance Mentoring. He is an ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Future Talent, and Music Masters. Sheku was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List. He plays a Matteo Goffriller cello from 1700 which is on indefinite loan to him.
Image Credit: Jake Turney