He is 20 years old, his name is Sheku Kanneh-Mason and he is a star cellist. He just released his second album and if his face tells you something it's because he was the one who played during the "Royal Wedding" of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. The event was watched by 3 billion people in the world, what assure him an immediate celebrity. And yet he did not know any of the members of the British royal family.
"It was a huge honor. I still don't know why they selected me, but it's a great opportunity to play in front of so many people around the world. It was a great experience," says Sheku Kanneh -Mason
Sheku's second album opens with a folk song from northern England performed solo. The young man likes to play popular tunes. He even took over No woman No Cry from Bob Marley, who toured social networks.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason started with the violin at 6 years old. It only lasted a few months because he quickly turned to the cello after attending a concert. His parents are not musicians but very music lovers. they have 7 children and they are all musicians. Sheku is the third of the siblings and sometimes plays in trios or quartets with his brothers and sisters.
Still a student at the Royal Academy of Music in London, in 2016 he received the BBC Young Musician of the Year award. He has been playing for a little over 3 years an Amati cello from 1610, loaned by a private collector … One of the works he plays the most with this instrument is the Concerto in E minor by British composer Edward Elgar. A major piece from the cello repertoire, at the heart of Sheku's new album.
Recording this Concerto a took place in the legendary studios of Abbey Road, where other illustrious great Britons went before them: the Beatles, the Pink Floyd, Oasis and Edward Elgar himself in 1931. The album Elgar by Sheku Kanneh-Mason has just left DECCA. You will find him in concert in Paris at Champs-Élysées Theater on February 23.