A cellist is a person or musician that plays the cello. Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the aforementioned Award-winning cellist is 17-years-old.
The talented musician became the first black winner of the BBC Young Musician award in May. He has become an inspiration to many as has made history – standing out as a gifted black man.
Kanneh-Mason, wants to encourage more young black people to pursue careers in classic music. And is promoting diversity in classical music.
He argues that the classical music industry needs to become much more diverse. He says: “When a lot of people imagine classical music they don’t picture much diversity…”.
Kanneh-Mason’s ultimate goal is to inspire and encourage young black and ethnic minority children at a young age.
The teenager performs in the all black multi-ethnic orchestra, Chineke. The band is the first professional black orchestra in the world. As a ‘culturally inspiring’ group, they do all that they can to promote equality and inclusion.
Furthermore, Sheku Kanneh-Mason is also an ambassador for the charity London Music Masters. As a junior ambassador, he engages with his community and encourages youth. Through performance and mentoring he sends the message that ‘classical music belongs to all of us’.
As a result of his works, this gifted teenager has also signed a record deal with Decca Records. His signing definitely comes as a sign that the classical music industry is becoming more diverse.
Commenting on the record deal, Director of Decca, said: “Sheku is an astonishing gifted young musician with incredible energy…”.
Kanneh-Mason’s future is very promising; he is an inspiration to local and international communities.