Sheku Kanneh-Mason wins BBC Young Musician 2016

Sheku Kanneh Mason

17-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, from Nottingham, has been named winner of BBC Young Musician 2016. 

Taking place at the Barbican, London yesterday (Sunday 15 May), the event saw Sheku beat fellow finalists French Horn player Ben Goldscheider, saxophonist Jess Gillam and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason to take the prize.

The finalists performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mark Wigglesworth in front of a live audience, and were judged by a panel of experts – saxophonist Amy Dickson, French Horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill, cellist Jamie Walton, and director of the BBC Proms, David Pickard.

Sheku performed Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto no.1.

Sheku said: ‘It’s a wonderful feeling. I’m so grateful for all the support from my family, the Junior Royal Academy of Music, my teacher Ben Davies and Chineke! that have helped me on this extraordinary journey.’

17-year-old Sheku attends Trinity Catholic Comprehensive School in Nottingham. He holds the ABRSM Junior Scholarship to The Royal Academy of Music, where he studies cello with Ben Davies. Sheku plays in the Chineke! Orchestra, as well as the JRAM Symphony Orchestra. He plays chamber music with the Kanneh-Mason Piano Trio and the Ash String Trio.

Now in its 38th year, BBC Young Musician is a part of the BBC’s ongoing commitment to supporting and providing a platform for new and emerging talent. Since its first outing in 1978 the competition has established a reputation for discovering and celebrating new music talent.