Isata Kanneh-Mason

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About Isata Kanneh-Mason

Born in 1996 and raised in Nottingham, pianist Isata is the eldest of the seven Kanneh-Mason siblings, who first caught the public imagination in 2015 when six of them performed on Britain’s Got Talent. The following year, cellist Sheku became the first Black musician to win the BBC Young Musician competition since its launch in 1978. Like Sheku, Isata signed with Decca. She made her recording debut championing the music of Clara Schumann, including her Concerto in A minor, written in 1833 when the composer was only 14 and performed two years later under the baton of Felix Mendelssohn. A call for diversity in classical music also inspired the lineup on Isata’s 2021 followup, Summertime—a wide-ranging collection of American pieces for solo piano, centred around Samuel Barber’s short four-movement sonata (1949). The album includes the calming, Impressionistic By the Still Waters (1925) by Amy Beach and the premiere recording of Anglo African composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s lyrical Impromptu No. 2 in B minor, more than a century after it was first published. The Kanneh-Masons have always played music together, and Muse, Sheku and Isata's disc of sonatas for cello and piano by Rachmaninoff and Barber, reveals the deep musical understanding the siblings have formed over time.

United Kingdom
May 1996

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