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Sheku Kanneh-Mason

'Myfanwy' from Song

Decca Classics
Release Date: September 9, 2022

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Myfanwy (Arr. for Solo Cello)
Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason on the The Andrew Marr Show - 28 Oct 2018
BBC YM Forty Years Young
Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays 4th Mvt - Elgar Cello Concerto at BBC Young Musician 2018
Sheku Kanneh-Mason visits Prior Weston Primary School
Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Isata Kanneh-Mason - Edinburgh International Festival
1 Myfanwy  

Song, the new album from cellist Sheku-Kanneh Mason, features music from across the entire spectrum of classical, folk, jazz and pop – all personally curated by Sheku. The eclectic mix of styles are tied together by one thing – the unique singing voice of Sheku’s cello.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason became a household name in 2018 after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle. His performance was greeted with universal excitement and was seen by nearly two billion people globally. 

Sheku initially garnered renown as the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician Competition, the first black musician to take the title. He has released two chart-topping albums on the Decca Classics label, Inspiration (2018) and Elgar (2020). The latter reached #8 in the overall UK official album chart, making Sheku the first cellist in history to reach the UK top 10.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason has included some of his own arrangements including of Aretha Franklin’s ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ (written by Burt Bacharach) for solo pizzicato cello, Bach arrangements for multiple cellos, and the folk tune ‘Myfanwy’, his Welsh grandmother’s favourite song. Sheku said, “This is one of my absolute favourite melodies, and one that I’ve known for as long as I can remember. I spent a lot of my childhood in Wales with my family and particularly my Welsh Grandma, so this is for her.”

As well as performing solo Sheku is also joined by family and friends for many of the pieces on his new album Song. He improvises with jazz pianist Harry Baker on ‘Cry Me A River’, collaborates with singer-songwriter Zak Abel on their original song, ‘Same Boat’ and joins the South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza on Massenet’s ‘Élégie’.

The album also includes the world premiere on a new work (commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music, where Sheku studied) from British composer, Edmund Finnis, who wrote the ‘Five Preludes’ especially for Sheku, and a movement from Messiaen’s moving ‘Quartet for the End of Time’.

“I wanted to show who I am as a musician right now,” said Sheku Kanneh-Mason. “In doing so, I was able to showcase different styles and approaches to music.”

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