Here’s Everything We Know About Royal Wedding Cello Player Sheku Kanneh-Mason
This history-making cello player, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, delivered three poignant pieces as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot.
If you were like us you were up at the wee hours of the early morning watching the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It was a global event with flourishes of black AF moments—did you see that gospel number as they walked down the aisle—and with the world watching there were plenty of stand out moments. One in particular was when cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason played not one, but three pieces as the newlyweds signed the register.
But who is Sheku anyway?
Well, at only 19, he has already made history quite a few times as a BBC Young Musician of the Year award winner in 2016. Add on to the fact that he was the first black musician to win since the award’s launch 38 years earlier, and you get an idea of just how important Sheku’s attendance was for this royal wedding. Born and raised in Nottingham, Sheku picked up the cello when he was only six-years-old, and before that he briefly took his time to play and learn the violin.
He comes from quite a big and competitive family, Sheku is the third of seven children and, in 2015, he and his siblings all vied for the top spot on the popular music competition show Britain’s Got Talent — where they performed as The Kanneh-Masons. Asked by Meghan Markle to perform ahead of the wedding, Sheku was “excited and honored” to hold the position, writing on Twitter, “I was bowled over when Ms. Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes!!! What a privilege. I can’t wait!”
I’m so excited and honoured to perform at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. I was bowled over when Ms Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes!!! What a privilege. I can’t wait! https://t.co/TU0lyKloCD
— Sheku Kanneh-Mason (@ShekuKM) April 24, 2018
He played three pieces by Chris Hazell during the wedding ceremony: “Sicilienne Maria Theresia von Paradis,” “Apres un reve Gabriel Faure,” and “Ave Maria Franz Schubert”. If his performance sounded like something out of a foreign film, you may be right because last year Sheku performed at the British Academy Film Awards at London’s Royal Albert Hall. And playing one of the biggest events in the entire world wasn’t the only historic moment in Sheku’s career, as this year he has already made waves, breaking a UK chart record by scoring the biggest-selling British debut of the year to date with his classical album, Inspiration.
The cellist became the first musician to perform at the BAFTAS twice as Sheku took to the stage this past February, where he was joined on stage by his equally talented siblings. His eldest sister, Isata, played the viola, while his brother, Braimah, was on the violin. Konya, his 17-year-old sister also plays the violin, and Jeneba, plays the cello. Kanneh-Mason showed that he was not only for the bright lights of the royal wedding, he also is ready to push the conversation of music forward to those who believe that music education matters.
The Royal Academy of Music student is a passionate advocate for classical music accessibility, as well as a Junior Ambassador for London Music Matters, a music education charity.
To get a taste of his style as a musician, watch his performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in this video below:
SOURCE: Hollywood Life