Praised for his “fulsome tone,” 20-year-old Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year, has played at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, dazzled in appearances across the globe, and been hailed as a “global phenomenon” (The Telegraph, London). Just days after their Carnegie Hall debut, he and his sister perform for the first time in Baltimore.


Venue: Baltimore Museum of Art

“Sheku Kanneh-Mason is just what classical music needs.”—The Guardian


    Sheku Kanneh-Mason

    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.

    “Sheku Kanneh-Mason is just what classical music needs” --The Guardian


    Isata Kanneh-Mason

    Isata Kanneh-Mason is an undergraduate at The Royal Academy of Music, studying piano with Carole Presland, having been awarded the prestigious Sir Elton John Scholarship. She performed with Elton John in Los Angeles in 2013. Isata begins her Postgraduate studies with a Scholarship to The Royal Academy in September 2018. Isata was in the Piano Category Final of The BBC Young Musician 2014, winning The Walter Todds Bursary for the most promising musician before the Grand Final. She has won The Royal Academy Iris Dyer Piano Prize four times and won the Mrs Claude Beddington Prize 2016 for outstanding recital results at The Royal Academy. She is also winner of The Royal Academy Christian Carpenter Recital Prize 2018.

    Isata held the Elsa and Leonard Cross Scholarship at The Royal Academy of Music, Junior  Department, studying piano with Patsy Toh. She won two ABRSM Gold Awards at age 10 and 11 for the highest marks in the UK for grades 7 and 8 Piano.

    Isata has performed around the UK and abroad, with concerto appearances, in solo recitals and in chamber ensembles, including at the Wigmore Hall, The Royal Festival Hall, St Martin-in-the -Fields, The Duke’s Hall (Royal Academy), The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, Kings Place, London. She has performed in The Portland Piano Series in Oregon, USA, in The Barbican Sound Unbound Series, The Colour of Music Festival in South Carolina, The Hebden Bridge and Lincoln Music Festivals, in Amsterdam, the Caribbean, The Cayman Islands and Canada. She has numerous forthcoming concerts at venues such as The Wigmore Hall, Milton Court, Kings Place, London, and Carnegie Hall, USA.

    Isata has performed several times on BBC television and radio, including Radio 3 In Tune, Radio 3 RPS Awards, BBC2 The Proms Extra, Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, Al Jazeera TV, BBC World Service, Channel 4, The One Show, the BBC4 documentary: Young, Gifted and Classical, ITV Born To Shine, BBC2 Classroom Heroes, and BBC Young Musician. She is featured in a forthcoming documentary by CBS Television (USA).

    Isata is grateful to The Nottingham Soroptimist Trust, to Mr and Mrs John Bryden, to Frank White, and to Sir Elton John.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Variations on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" for Cello and Piano, Op. 66

Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994)

Grave: Metamorphoses for Cello and Piano

Samuel Barber (1910-1981)

Cello Sonata, Op. 6

Sergey Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19

Program Subject to Change Without Notice