Royal wedding cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason wins two Classic Brits

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the young cellist who performed at last month’s royal wedding, has won two Classic Brit awards.

The 18-year-old stole the show in many eyes as he performed Maria Theresia von Paradis’ Sicilienne, Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria and Gabriel Faure’s Apres un Reve, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle signed the register, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

On Wednesday Kanneh-Mason was celebrated at the Classic Brits, an awards ceremony that returns, its organisers say, “reformatted and refreshed” after a five-year hiatus.

He won male artist of the year and a critics’ choice award, capping what has been a meteoric rise since he made history in 2016 by becoming the first black musician to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Since then the Nottingham teenager has performed at the Baftas and the Proms and released an album, Inspiration, which is still at the top of the classical music charts.

The female artist of the year was the American superstar soprano Renée Fleming who, over the past year or so, has starred in Carousel on Broadway, Der Rosenkavalier at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera in New York and featured on the soundtrack of films The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Fleming won from a shortlist that also included Beatrice Rana, Tina Guo, Sheridan Smith and Dame Vera Lynn.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the royal wedding cellist, and other young musicians on a life-changing day

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