Sheku Kanneh-Mason is all of 19, and, thanks to the UK royal wedding where he played the cello, at least 18 million Britons – and probably several million people around the world – he is a celebrity even outside the world of classical music aficionados. The first Black in 38 years to win the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year award, he was personally invited by the bride, Meghan Markle, to perform. “It was a surprise and such an honour,” he told People.
The 19-year-old, incredibly, is one of a family of six siblings from Nottingham in the UK, all of whom play classical music – on the piano, the violin, and the cello – with great virtuosity. Here’s the eldest, Isata, on the piano.
In 2015, the entire family – not including the parents, who played instruments when young but are not professional musicians – performed on Britain’s Got Talent.
And here is Kanneh-Mason’s performance at the wedding in its entirety.