Sheku Kanneh-Mason is seventeen years old and attends Trinity Catholic School in Nottingham. He began studying the cello at the age six with Sarah Huson-Whyte. He holds the ABRSM Junior Scholarship to The Royal Academy of Music, where he studies cello with Ben Davies. He also studied piano with Druvi de Saram at the Academy
At the age of 9, Sheku won the Marguerite Swan Memorial Prize for the highest marks in the UK for Grade 8 cello. He won Nottingham Young Musician of the Year at age 12, and won the Lower Strings Prize at the Royal Academy three times, including the Advanced Prize. He has held the String Recital Trophy for the Derby Music Festival for five years. He won the Royal Academy Dame Ruth Railton Chamber Music Prize 2014 and he is the Gregynog Young Musician 2015. Sheku is winner of the Pro Corda Chamber Music Competition 2015 and held the international Junior Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship 2013.
Sheku won BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016, with his performance of Shostakovich Cello Concerto no 1. His performance at London’s Barbican was described as “Electric” and he received a standing ovation
He is a member of Chineke! Orchestra, who had their debut concert in September at The Royal Festival Hall. He also plays Principal cello in Chineke! Junior Orchestra. He plays in the Junior Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra, Trinity School’s Chamber Orchestra, and was for several years a member of the National Youth Chamber Orchestra. He plays regular chamber music, particularly with the Kanneh-Mason Piano Trio and String Quartet, and the Ash String Trio. He has given numerous concerts throughout the UK, including solo, chamber and concerto performances, in venues such as The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the home of Sir Vernon Ellis, and The Royal Concert Hall. He has played Haydn’s Cello Concerto No 1 with the Djanogly Orchestra and J26 Sinfonietta, and played the Shostakovich Cello Concerto with The Orchestra of the Restoration. He will perform the Schumann Cello Concerto with The Angel Orchestra in London in July 2016.
Sheku has received Masterclass tuition from Guy Johnston, Robert Max, Alexander Baillie, Steven Doane, Rafael Wallfisch, Jo Cole, Melissa Phelps and Julian Lloyd-Webber.
He has played cello on various television shows, most recently in the semi final of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent 2015. He also performed on the BBC Radio 3 programme, In Tune in 2015 and 2016. Sheku is very grateful to y-notts and to the Nottingham Education Trust.
Sheku plays an Antonius and Hieronymus Amati cello c1610 kindly on loan from a private collection.
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