Last summer the 16 year old Nottingham cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason took part in the Saturday morning masterclass at the 2015 Southwell Music Festival. With his sister Jeneba at the piano he worked on the opening movement of Shostakovich Cello Concerto No 1 with Festival cellist Nathaniel Boyd. You can watch the occasion here.
This Sunday night Sheku performs the entire Shostakovich concerto at the Barbican Hall in London when he appears as one of the three finalists in the BBC Young Musician 2016. This time he will be accompanied by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. The occasion will be broadcast live on BBC4: here’s a preview.
When we established the Southwell Music Festival one of our priorities was to offer encouragement to young, up-and-coming local musicians. We sincerely hope that the work Sheku did that summer Saturday in the State Chamber has helped him on his way to a winning performance at the Barbican on Sunday evening.
The Southwell Masterclass will take place at this year’s Festival (Saturday 27th August). We cannot guarantee a place in the BBC Young Musician final as a consequence however there are still opportunities for musicians who have achieved Grade 8 standard to take part and work with our distinguished visiting professional musicians. More details and an application form can be downloaded here.
Very best wishes to Sheku from everyone associated with the Southwell Music Festival.
Founder and Artistic Director
Southwell Music Festival