Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Who’s Isata Kanneh-Mason? Meet the acclaimed British pianist


She’ll be performing on the 2023 BBC Proms, and is a member of an astonishingly proficient musical household. However who’s pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason?

Who’s Isata Kanneh-Mason?

Isata Kanneh-Mason is a British pianist with a number of acclaimed releases to her title. She is likely one of the Kanneh-Masons, a famously musical household: her siblings embrace cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and violinist Braimah Kanneh-Mason.

Like her brother Sheku, Isata has been a member of Chineke!, the orchestra based in 2015 to offer profession alternatives for black and ethnically numerous classical musicians within the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s mission is: ‘Championing change and celebrating variety in classical music’.

When was Isata Kanneh-Mason born?

Isata Kanneh-Mason was born in Might 1996, in Nottingham. She is the eldest of the seven Kanneh-Mason siblings.

The place did she develop up?

Isata Kanneh-Mason grew up within the household dwelling in Nottingham. Her father, Stuart Mason, is a enterprise government of Antiguan background; her mom, Kadiatu Kanneh, is a college educator born in Sierra Leone and has chronicled her experiences within the e book Elevating the Kanneh-Masons.

Who’re the Kanneh-Mason siblings?

Isata is the eldest of seven musical siblings – Braimah, Sheku, Konya, Jeneba, Aminata and Mariatu are the others.

When did Isata first play the piano?

In her 2023 interview for BBC Music Journal, Isata instructed our interviewer Jessica Duchen that she had her first encounters with a piano at her paternal grandparents’ dwelling in Antigua, aged about 5.

When did she begin piano classes?

Isata began studying piano younger, on the age of six. She additionally had classes on the recorder, violin and viola, however she quickly knew that the piano was instrument for her. ‘It wasn’t a aware factor then, however I keep in mind feeling pure and at dwelling on the piano, whereas on the violin, I felt uncomfortable for a lot of the time,’ she instructed Jessica.

‘I believe what I really like concerning the piano now’s its orchestral nature. There are such a lot of totally different voices, colors and sounds which you could get from this one instrument. Whether or not it’s a solo, a concerto or chamber music, the piano can do so a lot.’

What has she stated about her musical childhood?

‘My first two years of piano taking part in was principally me simply composing and improvising,’ Isata stated in her BBC Music Journal interview. ‘I keep in mind listening to pop songs on the radio, after which I’d go dwelling and attempt to play them.

‘A lot of my early musical reminiscences are about listening to music: I keep in mind listening to the Schubert ‘Trout’ Quintet within the automobile – we have been all obsessive about it! – and the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 in the lounge with my sister, Jeneba.’

The place did she research?

Isata studied on the Junior Royal Academy of Music and latterly on the Royal Academy of Music.

What albums has Isata Kanneh-Mason recorded?

In 2019, Isata launched her debut recording on Decca: a set of piano works by Clara Schumann.

Then got here Summertime, that includes piano works by 4 American composers: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Amy Seashore, Samuel Barber and George Gershwin.

Isata and Sheku collaborated on the album Muse, launched in November 2021. It options Samuel Barber‘s Sonata for Cello and Piano, transcriptions of songs by Barber and Rachmaninov, and Rachmaninov’s Cello Sonata.

Her newest launch for Decca is dedicated to music on the theme of childhood, and options works by Dohnányi, Mozart, Schumann and Debussy.

What’s Isata performing on the 2023 BBC Proms?

For Promenade 22 on Tuesday 1 August, Isata will carry out Prokofiev‘s Piano Concerto No. 3, with the BBC Nationwide Orchestra of Wales and conductor Ryan Bancroft. The Promenade may also function Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

Has she carried out on the Proms earlier than?

Sure. Isata and Sheku carried out collectively as a duo on the 2020 BBC Proms.

What does Isata love to do when not taking part in piano?

‘I sleep,’ Isata instructed Jessica. ‘I wish to be with folks,’ she added, ‘as a result of taking part in the piano, you are by your self, and also you journey alone. It is a lonely life-style. I wish to see my mates, I really like the cinema, lengthy walks and studying and simply socialising. And I additionally like being lively as a result of I am sitting for such lengthy hours, so I’m going to train courses, like biking and Pilates.’

Who’re her musical heroes?

‘Rising up within the classical world, I cherished Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Jacqueline du Pré,’ Isata instructed Jessica. ‘These are my massive musical heroes of childhood.

‘Additionally I cherished Beyoncé, Bob Marley and Michelle Obama, who’re my Black heroes. And Rachmaninov I discover inspiring as a composer and pianist. All of them encourage me in several methods, and both I see elements of myself in them, or I need to take in into myself elements of what they signify.’

Extra like this

That is tailored from a chunk that appeared within the Might 2023 concern of BBC Music Journal.

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