AWARD-WINNING cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason is coming to Marlborough on tour.

He won BBC young musician at the age of 17 and by 19 was performing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

He returns with his new album Elgar. An album of works set around Elgar’s Cello Concerto written for solo cello, which saw the 100th anniversary of its first performance this month.

Mr Kanneh-Mason said: “It’s how I feel about the music that really motivates me to work and discover and develop my own ideas that’s what keeps me going.”

The album was recorded at abbey road studios with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO). It was conducted by one of his lifelong heroes, Sir Simon Rattle.

The origins of the new recording on Decca Classics began long before Mr Kanneh-Mason met with Sir Simon Rattle in Berlin in December 2018. They played through the concerto together before a game of football in the conductor’s back garden. Mr Kanneh-Mason recalls his earliest encounters with the iconic work, which his musical family owned on CD.

Over a decade later, he has now performed the cello concerto many times with orchestras both national and international including a televised BBC Prom at London’s Royal Albert Hall in August this year. With the inspiration of the 1965 recording by his heroine Jacqueline du Pré, he did a day of recording with the LSO.

Mr Kanneh-Mason has set the iconic work amid nine pieces, some popular and some less well-known, which provide a musical context to the Cello Concerto.

The 20 year musician said: “All the pieces are connected, either exercising similar emotions to the Cello Concerto, or written around the same time.”

Last year was the release of his classical debut album Inspiration which topped the classical album chart and peaked at No.11 in the official UK album chart earning him a BRIT certified breakthrough award.

With over 60 million streams, Mr Kanneh-Mason has been named one of TIME magazine’s next generation leaders.

Music education remains a topic important to him. He is junior ambassador for inner city music charity London Music Masters and was presented with the 2019 PPL classical award.

He still attends the Royal Academy of Music along with his siblings Jeneba, Aminata and Mariatu who are still at school but attend Junior Academy. The Kanneh-Masons have become known as the world’s most talented family.

Over the next few months Mr Kanneh-Mason will embark on a tour of Europe and the US. He will be performing on November 10 at Marlborough College.

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