Sheku Kanneh-Mason




Sheku is seventeen years old and is the Winner of BBC Young Musician 2016, where he played Shostakovich Cello Concerto No 1 with The BBC Symphony Orchestra in the Grand Final at London’s Barbican. Sheku attends Trinity Catholic School in Nottingham. 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.


He began studying the cello at age six with Sarah Huson-Whyte and at the age of 9, Sheku won the Marguerite Swan Memorial Prize for the highest marks in the UK for Grade 8 cello. He is winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Instrumentalist Duet Prize 2016. He won the Lower Strings Prize at the Royal Academy three times and he 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 is a member of Chineke! Orchestra, and played the Haydn Cello Concerto with the orchestra in September 2016 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 Mitzuka 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, The Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the home of Sir Vernon Ellis, Cadogan Hall and the Royal Concert Hall. Sheku has many solo and concerto engagements, and he is the Junior Ambassador for London Music Masters.


He has performed several times on the BBC Radio 3 programme, In Tune, and has featured on Front Row, Radio 4, The Proms Extra, the BBC4 documentary: Young, Gifted and Classical, The One Show, and BBC Young Musician. Sheku is very grateful to Frank White of Ladystone Violins, Florian Leonhard Fine Violins, The Royal Academy of Music, y-notts, the Nottingham Education Trust and to the ABRSM.