Advertisement

Meghan Markle's first wedding, now an American tour. How Sheku Kanneh-Mason maps his way

Must Read

Jury to decide whether killing students was a hate crime

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - Three friends were waiting around three on a Saturday at a bus stop on...

50 years ago SWAT invaded the Black Panthers. Since then it has focused on black communities

In the early morning hours of December 8, 1969, Bernard Arafat woke up with explosions that rocked the library...

Racing! Congratulations on Bob Baffert's five-win day

Hello my Name Is John Cherwa and welcome to our newsletter about horse racing, because we are pretty sure...

The last time the British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason was to play in Los Angeles, he had to cancel at the last minute. As he apologetically explained, he had a wedding performance at home.

Admittedly, that doesn't sound like a good reason for a 19 year old to ignore what his American orchestra debut would be. But then it wasn't just a wedding. The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle led millions of viewers around the world to conquer at least a few minutes of the art of the miracle.

Eighteen months later, Kanneh-Mason enters the aristocracy of respected classical soloists. Not unlike the new Duchess of Sussex, he is a person of color who has recently navigated through a controversial, stately, mostly white environment.

"My impression has always been that the US is more ahead in the field of diversity in classical music than the UK," he said through a muted transatlantic telephone interview and subsequent email exchange. If that is changing, he and his family are an important reason.

The cellist, now 20, is making his late debut in Southern California at 8 p.m. Tuesday, when he and his sister, Isata, give a recital in the Zipper Hall of the Colburn School. The performance is a co-presentation of the school and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the ensemble whose invitation he had to reject in May 2018. They will move to UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall on Wednesday, followed by tour stops with the Ordway Center in St. Paul, Minn., Carnegie Hall in New York and the New England Conservatory in Boston. Kanneh-Mason returns as a soloist at LACO in May.

Sel Kardan, president and chief executive of the Colburn School, was delighted when LACO presented the joint project. He heard Kanneh-Mason, who won the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year Award, at the Edinburgh Festival in the summer of 2018.

"It was a stunning performance," Kardan said. “What struck me was the maturity of someone so young. There were no theatrices. It was very deep playing at a very high level. "

Twenty-year-old cello star Sheku Kanneh-Mason photographed at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Kardan said that a supportive family can provide a gifted young musician with essential stability and guidance, and Kanneh-Mason enjoys it immensely. He and his six brothers and sisters – all playing musical instruments – follow their origins on Antigua Island in the West Indies. His mother, an academic, emigrated to Britain; his father, a business manager, was born in London. Both were amateur musicians in their youth and encouraged their children to attend classes.

Isata, 23, was the first to show a great promise that was fulfilled when she released her first CD this year with the music of Clara Schumann. Sheku said he has been playing sonata with her since she was 8 years old. They also play in a trio with their 21-year-old violinist, Braimah.

"It's great to be able to work in such detail with people you know and trust very well," he said. "It gives you more freedom to experiment in performance, to challenge each other during the rehearsal and to be generally more spontaneous because you have that mutual understanding."

Sheku Kanneh-Mason began studying at the Royal Academy of Music & Junior Academy at the age of 10. He enrolled in the conservatory program in 2017, which means he has a year and a half before he graduates.

"I am fortunate to have a truly understanding management company and teachers who help me develop at the right pace and ensure that I have enough time to prepare a new repertoire every season," he said. “I am very careful with the number of concerts that I accept. It is a balance between practice and lessons, but I learn a lot from performance. "

His cellist heroes are Jacqueline du Pre and Mstislav Rostropovich, both known for the emotional intensity of their play – a quality critic has noted in the work of Kanneh-Mason. "It was the range of sound and color that really drew me to the cello," he said. "I enjoy exploring the extremes of the instrument from the deepest to the highest register."

He is a fan of, and occasionally soloist with, the Chineke! Orchestra, which tours to Walt Disney Concert Hall in April. His mission, he said approvingly, is "to inspire young people with color to see classical music as something they can get into."

Kanneh-Mason and his sister hope to be able to gain inspiration in Los Angeles. Sheku gave a master class in Colburn on Monday, and Isata held a Q&A with the students of the conservatory.

Kardan suspects that those budding musicians will treat them like rock stars. But if the students hope for gossip about Buckingham Palace, they will probably be disappointed.

"I didn't meet any members of the royal family on the day of the wedding, but I did that before," he said. "From the small conversations I had, they seemed very nice."

Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason

True: The Colburn School, Zipper Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave., L.A.

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Tickets: $ 95- $ 130

info: colburnschool.edu

window.fbAsyncInit = function() {
FB.init({

appId : ‘119932621434123’,

xfbml : true,
version : ‘v2.9’
});
};

(function(d, s, id){
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)(0);
if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;}
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Jury to decide whether killing students was a hate crime

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - Three friends were waiting around three on a Saturday at a bus stop on...

50 years ago SWAT invaded the Black Panthers. Since then it has focused on black communities

In the early morning hours of December 8, 1969, Bernard Arafat woke up with explosions that rocked the library of the Black Panthers headquarters...

Racing! Congratulations on Bob Baffert's five-win day

Hello my Name Is John Cherwa and welcome to our newsletter about horse racing, because we are pretty sure who will win the 3-year...

Column: Trump receives little credit for foreign policy – for good reason

Last week's NATO summit in London should have been a nice little success story for President Trump. For once he went to an international...

Awarded by her bosses, the award-winning CBS TV reporter was fired. Then she went on

Investigative reporter Michele Gillen spent her career eradicating injustice. Gillen, one of the most recognizable TV personalities in South Florida, worked for two decades...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -