Cellist on the rise: Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Posted on: December 4, 2019

“The last time British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason was scheduled to play in Los Angeles, he had to cancel at the last minute,” writes Tom Jacobs in Tuesday’s (12/3) Los Angeles Times. Kanneh-Mason “had a gig back home playing at a wedding … the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle…. Not unlike the new Duchess of Sussex, he is a person of color newly navigating a high-profile, high-status, mostly white milieu. ‘My impression has always been that the U.S. is more ahead in terms of diversity in classical music than the U.K.,’ he said…. If that is shifting, he and his family are a major reason. The cellist, now 20, … and his sister, Isata, [gave] a recital [this week] at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall. The performance is a co-presentation of the school and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the ensemble whose invitation he was forced to decline in May 2018…. He and his six siblings … all … play musical instruments…. He is a fan of, and occasional soloist with, the Chineke! Orchestra…. Its mission, he said approvingly, is ‘to inspire young people of color to see classical music as something they, too, can get into.’ ”

Posted December 4, 2019

In photo: Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason shown at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where he performed on December 3 with his sister, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason. Photo by Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times