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Royal Wedding cellist to play alongside primary school students

PUBLISHED: 16:55 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:15 10 June 2019

Sheku Kanneh-Mason playing alongside young cellists through London Music Masters last year. Picture: Mariona Vilaros.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason playing alongside young cellists through London Music Masters last year. Picture: Mariona Vilaros.

Archant

Sheku Kanneh-Mason comes to Prior Weston Primary School this Friday (June 14) as he seeks to inspire the next generation of classical musicians.

Kanneh-Mason shot to fame while playing the Royal Wedding last year. Picture: Mariona Vilaros.Kanneh-Mason shot to fame while playing the Royal Wedding last year. Picture: Mariona Vilaros.

If you cast your mind back to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding ceremony last year, there's one particular person that stands out, isn't there?

I don't mean Bishop Michael Curry - as memorable as his impassioned sermon on the meaning of love was - but rather Sheku Kanneh-Mason: the 19-year-old who played his cello with such poise and elegance to a room full of royalty, and almost two billion people watching around the world.

Kanneh-Mason, who is 20 now, will play to a slightly different crowd this Friday (June 14), as he heads to Prior Weston Primary School to rehearse alongside a group of year two cellists.

"My objective in going into Prior Weston School is to inspire and share my love of music with the children there," he says.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Picture: Lars Borges.Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Picture: Lars Borges.

"I of course remember being that age and remember how important it was to have musicians I could look up to, and that's really what always inspired my learning."

Friday's event has been organised by London Music Masters, an education charity working to create "a world where everyone has access to the extraordinary power of music."

The project teaches entire classes of inner-city primary school children to play the violin or cello, and Kanneh-Mason's visit to Prior Weston comes after students at Jubilee Primary School, in Lambeth, saw violinist Nicola Benedetti perform first-hand back in February.

Prior Weston's guest on Friday began learning the cello at the age of six; becoming the first black person to win the BBC's Young Musician of the Year in 2016 and then releasing an album - Inspiration - which went to number one in the classical charts.

Kanneh-Mason also won the South Bank Sky Arts Breakthrough Award in 2017, and first came to national attention when bringing the house down as part of a classical music recital alongside five of his siblings on Britain's Got Talent 2015.

"I think it is so important for young children to have the opportunity to learn an instrument," he adds, "firstly because music is such a wonderful thing and allows us to express things, but also because of the wide range of things learning and playing music can teach."

After Prior Weston, Kanneh-Mason plays Kenwood House this Sunday, with a number of dates around Europe and the USA - including a stint at the Proms in August - planned for the rest of 2019.

More details on Sheku here, and London Music Masters here.

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