“Cello superstar” (Evening Standard) Sheku Kanneh-Mason won the award for Best Classical Artist at the 2020 Global Awards which were held in London last night. Sheku gained the most public votes to win the coveted industry award, following in the footsteps of a stellar lineup of previous winners including violinist Nicola Benedetti and operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli. In his acceptance speech Sheku Kanneh-Mason said, “Thank you very much to all of you who voted for me in the category of Best Classical Artist in this year’s Global Awards. Your support is greatly appreciated and I’m honoured and delighted to receive this award.” He also thanked his family and teachers for their unyielding support.
The Global Awards
Global, the media and entertainment group, created The Global Awards to celebrate the biggest stars of music, news and entertainment across a wide range of genres. The prestigious event brings together the UK’s favourite radio stations, including Classic FM, Capital, Heart, Smooth, LBC, Radio X, Capital XTRA and Gold, with award categories reflecting their artists, music and programmes.
Earlier this year Sheku Kanneh-Mason became the first cellist in chart history to break into the UK Official Album Chart Top 10 when his new album Elgar entered at No. 8. The album also topped the UK Classical Chart giving Sheku his second classical No. 1 album. Elgar features the composer’s famous Cello Concerto, recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by one of Sheku’s lifelong heroes Sir Simon Rattle. Sheku Kanneh-Mason was inspired to learn the cello after hearing Jacqueline du Pré’s recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto when he was a child.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason also made chart history with his Classical BRIT award-winning debut album Inspiration when he became the youngest cellist ever to break into the Top 20 UK Official Album Chart. The album entered at No. 18 and peaked at No. 11 following his performance at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018 which was watched across the world by 2 billion people. Inspiration also reached No. 13 on the US Billboard Album Chart, the first time a British cellist ever achieved this feat, No. 1 on the classical charts in the UK, US, France, Australia and New Zealand, and was the top selling classical album for 2018 in the UK.
“The world’s new favourite cellist” – The Times
Sheku Kanneh-Mason was appointed Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to music in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. Music education provision remains a topic close to his heart. In addition to recording, performing and studying, he leads primary school workshops and masterclasses in his role as Ambassador for music charities London Music Masters and Future Talent. Sheku Kanneh-Mason, “the world’s new favourite cellist” (The Times), is currently an undergraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he balances international performing commitments with full-time study.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s album Elgar can be bought here.