Sheku Kanneh-Mason to play at Royal Wedding

Martin Cullingford Tue 24th April 2018

Decca-signed cellist further builds on reputation as popular ambassador for classical music

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason will play at next month's Royal Wedding (photo: Lars Borges)

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason will play at next month's Royal Wedding (photo: Lars Borges)

Sheku Kanneh-Mason has been announced as one of the musicians at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle next month.

The 19-year-old cellist - who said he was phoned by the bride-to-be herself and asked to perform - described himself as 'so excited and honoured...What a privilege to be able to play the cello at such a wonderful event. I can’t wait!' 

Kanneh-Mason has already proved himself able to reach wide audiences, since first being propelled to fame by success at the 2016 BBC Young Musician Competition. His debut album, entitled ‘Inspiration’ and built around Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto (recorded with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla), entered the album charts - for all genres - at number 18, helped by the popularity of his arrangement of Bob Marley's 'No Woman, No Cry'. 

And while the announcement might not quite be the biggest Royal Family story this week, given Kanneh-Mason's already proven ability to act as a popular ambassador for classical music, the cellist's association with such a high-profile event is a highly positive thing both for him, and for the artform itself. 

His fellow performers will include gospel group The Kingdom Choir, conducted by Karen Gibson, an orchestra comprising musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, and of course the Choir of St George's Chapel under its music director James Vivian.

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