Royal Academy of Music appoints cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason visiting professor

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(Photo credit: Jake Turney)

Kanneh-Mason begins her new role as Menuhin Visiting Professor of Performance Mentoring in September 2022 and joins the Academy’s roster of pedagogues – including Lorenza Borrani, James Ehnes, Steven Isserlis and Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider.

In the role, Kanneh-Mason will visit the Academy each year and work with undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma students to encourage and develop practical skills.

Initially, Kanneh-Mason will work with students on building confidence and spontaneity, in addition to improvisation techniques and arrangement and transcription tools.

Kanneh-Mason will also provide tips for spending time effectively and efficiently in the rehearsal room, possibly joining students for performance projects.

Sheku joined the Royal Primary Academy aged nine and continued as a junior, undergraduate and advanced graduate student. He has studied with Hannah Roberts since 2017.

During his acclaimed career, he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 2016, becoming the first black musician to win the competition. In 2018, Sheku performed at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and later received an MBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honors for services to music.

“Sheku’s ingenuity, open communication and experience as a young artist on the international stage will make him an inspiring and energetic guide and we are delighted to welcome him to the Academy in this new role,” said said the Academy’s head of ropes. , Jo Cole.

“It’s incredibly exciting to start this new role at the Royal Academy of Music,” commented Sheku Kanneh-Mason. “The Academy is a place that has really shaped my musical development for so many years, from my primary and junior Academy studies through to undergraduate and advanced diploma programs.

“It’s such an honor to be invited to work with students on different aspects of performance. During my time as a student, I had the chance to explore so much in terms of classical solo repertoire , chamber music and collaborations with a wide variety of artists, as well as composition and arrangement for my instrument I hope to encourage students to be open, interesting and complete musicians.

“It is also a huge honor that this position is named after one of my greatest inspirations, Yehudi Menuhin,” he added. “I have always admired not only his incredibly expressive violin playing, but also his openness, interest and dedication to a wide range of music, arts, education and broader social issues.”

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