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Q&A | 20 Questions For Sheku Kanneh-Mason

By Ludwig Van on January 14, 2020

Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Sheku Kanneh-Mason (Photo: Jake Turney)

Ludwig Van’s Q&A series is comprised of a bank of questions aimed at artists who have made a serious mark on the classical music scene. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers.

For Royal watchers and classical music lovers alike, it was hard not to notice the extraordinary performance by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason at the Royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018. His appearance was seen by over two billion viewers and took the world by storm. His debut record for Decca Classics, Inspiration, reached No. 1 on the classical charts and No. 18 on the UK Album charts and has been streamed over 2.5 million times on Spotify. Kanneh-Mason’s latest album featuring Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle is out now. If the critics are right, this is an artist becoming become synonymous with the cello.

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Your first memory?

Being in Bahrain, where I was born, at a kids park. I think I was 2 or 3.

What are three things about playing the cello that make you love it?

The sound, the repertoire that has been written for cello and the fact you can sit down whilst playing!

Most memorable gig ever?

Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, because of the new space – it’s one of the best concert halls I’ve ever seen.

Your role models?

Jacqueline du Pre and Bob Marley

If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you?

Antigua because I have lots of family there and right now the weather is lovely there (as opposed to cold here in London)

Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure?

Perth in Scotland for a concert with my quintet. It’s a nice town, very small. It’s nice to get out of London.

What is your biggest phobia?

Small holes (Trypophobia)

Signature meal to cook at home?

Chicken and fried plantain

The last show you binge-watched?

YOU on Netflix.

The different career path that you could have gone on?

I would like to have been a footballer, playing for Arsenal.

Your three favourite films?

Avatar, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II

What are you the most proud of?

I’m most proud of my recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto

The talent that you wish you possessed?


Favourite classical music website

Ludwig Van!

Summer or winter?


What are you listening to as you answer these questions?


What musical instrument do you secretly long to play?


The first album that made you love music?

Jacqueline Du Pre – Elgar Cello Concerto

Three pieces, songs, or arias that you could listen to on repeat for an hour?

Mozart Requiem, Mozart piano concerto no 20 and Time Will Tell by Bob Marley.

The piece of music you want played at your funeral?

Rachmaninoff Elegie for cello and piano.

To read more from our Q&A Series, click HERE.


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Ludwig Van
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