The pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason has signed a contract with Decca Classics, the first fruit of which will be an album devoted to the music of Clara Schumann, born 200 years ago. At the heart of the new release, due out in July, will be Clara’s Piano Concerto, written when she was 14 and which she premiered with Leipzig’s Gewandhausorchester conducted by Felix Mendelssohn.
A student at London’s Royal Academy of Music, Isata comes from a prodigiously talented musical family - with her brothers, cellist Sheku (also signed to Decca), and violinist, Braimah, she performs as the Kanneh-Mason Trio. She also has four younger sisters and happily embraces the role of championing a strong female voice in classical music. ‘What struck me most about Clara Schumann is her incredible strength.’ She says. ‘Not only did she manage to sustain a long and demanding concert career (almost unheard of for a woman during her time!), she also raised a large family and dealt with inconceivable tragedies. I also come from a big family, and I am lucky to have been surrounded by many strong and inspiring women throughout my life.’
As well as the Piano Concerto (recorded with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under the New Zealander, Holly Mathieson) the album contains solo piano works, including the G minor Piano Sonata, and the three Romances for violin and piano, Op 22 for which Isata is joined by the former BBC New Generation Artist Elena Urioste.
Dr Alexander Buhr, Managing Director of Decca Classics commented that ‘Isata is an immensely talented pianist with remarkable musicality and a curious mind, always ready to explore new musical horizons. We are very happy to welcome her to the Decca Classics family with this project celebrating one of the greatest women in music history.’