Pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason has signed an exclusive recording contract with Sony Classical. Her first recital album with the label will be recorded this year for release in sprint 2025.

The 22-year-old British pianist has already impressed critics with her “poetry and confidence” (The Guardian) and as a “vivid soloist” (The Sunday Times) who performs “straight from the heart, with care, sparkle and self-possession” (BBC Music Magazine). Following her début tour of Australia, the Chronicle exclaimed: “There was maturity in performance and interpretation … Effortless, yes. Impressive, even more so – and exciting is probably an understatement.”

Jeneba’s first recording on the label displays her wide-ranging curiosity for repertoire and individual approach to programming, with a recital that juxtaposes works by Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy and Alexander Scriabin with music by under-represented composers Margaret Bonds, Florence Price and William Grant Still.

Already an established performer of music by Florence Price, on her 2023 recording of the composer’s Concerto in One Movement, The Observer noted that “Price could have no more persuasive an advocate”. Of her performance of the work at the BBC Proms, the Evening Standard wrote that “she proved an eloquent advocate for the piece with her sensitive yet alert playing”.

Jeneba notes: “I am so happy and honoured to join the prestigious roster of artists at Sony Classical. I can’t remember a time when classical music wasn’t an integral part of my life, and I am a huge advocate for its positive influences and ability to really connect with such a wide range of people. The piano repertoire is enormous and I’m excited to be able to explore it, discovering the old, the new, and to perform pieces by more women, as well as black and minority ethnic composers.”

“I am delighted to welcome Jeneba Kanneh-Mason to Sony Classical. We can’t wait to shape the next steps of Jeneba’s career together with her as her exclusive recording partner.” Per Hauber, President, Sony Classical International

“Jeneba’s musical prowess is simply electrifying. With curiosity and a vibrant spirit, she brings her very own fresh perspective to every piece she plays. We are absolutely thrilled to have Jeneba join the Sony Classical family, bringing her infectious energy to our joint musical journey!” Dr. Alexander Buhr, SVP A&R, Sony Classical International

“We are thrilled that Jeneba is joining the fantastic roster of artists at Sony Classical. From the beginning of our discussions with the label, it was clear that the whole international team understood Jeneba’s needs and wishes as a young pianist, starting to forge her own path. We look forward to a close and collaborative relationship with the label and can’t wait to see what the future will bring!” Kathryn Enticott, Enticott Music Management

Jeneba, who was a finalist in the 2018 BBC Young Musician competition and a recent Classic FM Rising Star, completes her studies at the Royal College of Music this summer, where she holds the Victoria Robey Scholarship. Pianist magazine celebrates Jeneba’s signing to Sony Classical by featuring her on the June cover.

“I’ve wanted to be a pianist for as long as I can remember and it feels like a wonderful opportunity to work with the label and to have their confidence and support. I will look forward to our first recording!” Jeneba is well on track as she joins the Sony Classical roster and begins her journey alongside eminent fellow pianists Leif Ove Andsnes, Khatia Buniatishvili and Igor Levit, as well as historical legends such as Glenn Gould and Arthur Rubinstein.

Pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason was a finalist in the 2018 BBC Young Musician and made her London début in 2020 at the age of 18, performing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra. In the same year she gave the UK première of Florence Price’s Concerto in One Movement with Chineke! at the Royal Festival Hall, returning to the work for her first BBC Proms appearance in 2021.

Early reviews encapsulate the young pianist’s talent:

“Poised, polished, professional and full of the joy of music-making … It’s rare to find such a youthful pianist able to listen to and blend with an orchestra quite so expertly” – The Arts Desk.

“Kanneh-Mason is perfectly attuned to Price’s world – her clarity is remarkable … Although still at music college, it is clear this is a name that will be one to watch” – Seen and Heard International.

Now, three years later, as she completes her studies at the Royal College of Music, Jeneba is ready to embrace the future. Having recently returned from the United States, where she made her début with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, she is currently preparing for a recital tour that takes her across the UK and culminates at London’s Wigmore Hall in September.

Highlights of the 2024/25 season include performances with the Philharmonia and Marin Alsop, as well as débuts with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Stockholm Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic. This autumn Jeneba also tours with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra performing Chopin’s and Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concertos in concert throughout the UK.

Jeneba holds the Victoria Robey Scholarship at the Royal College of Music, where she has been studying piano with Vanessa Latarche. She is grateful to Lady Robey, to The Nottingham Soroptimist Trust and to The Nottingham Education Trust, who have all supported her studies and early career.

Photo: Berghorn/Sony Classical