The world became aware of Sheku Kanneh-Mason when he played the cello at the wedding of Harry and Meghan Sussex in St George’s Chapel in 2018. He is just one-seventh of a talented musical family. Perhaps a little opportunistically, his mother, Kadiatu has just published a memoir – House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons (Bloomsbury). She was born in Sierra Leone and raised in Wales from the age of five; she lectured in English at the University of Nottingham. Her husband, Stuart Mason was born in England of parents from Antigua; he is an executive in the luxury travel industry. The family home is in Nottingham. All seven of their children are classical musicians of an apparently high standard.
Sheku, the cellist, won the BBC Young Musician Award in 2016 and this year, has won Best Classical Artist at The Global Awards. All seven of the musical siblings were to tour Australia in August this year for entrepreneur Andrew McKinnon who has now secured them for August 2021. This exceptional family has been the subject of a number of documentaries, most recently in July on BBC 1. They appeared at the 2019 Royal Variety Show and the 2018 Bafta Awards.
This should be read as an encouraging story of immigration, education and opportunities seized and used to full advantage with discipline and determination. Britain is entitled to be proud of this family and of the circumstances that have permitted them to achieve such success.
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