Sheku Kanneh-Mason is already in great demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide. He became a household name in 2018 after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle, his performance having been greeted with universal excitement after being watched by nearly two billion people globally. Sheku initially garnered renown as the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, and subsequently became a Decca Classics recording artist. His latest album, Song, showcases his lyrical playing with a wide selection of arrangements and collaborations. Sheku’s 2020 album Elgar reached No. 8 in the main UK Official Album Chart, making him the first ever cellist to reach the UK Top 10. Sheet music collections of his performance repertoire along with his own arrangements and compositions are published by Faber.
In the 22/23 season, Sheku appears as Artist in Residence with the Philharmonia Orchestra, performing three concerti across the year in addition to chamber music and giving educational workshops. He also performs with orchestras such as the London Mozart Players, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Camerata Salzburg, Hallé Orchestra, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In the Americas, Sheku features as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Boston Symphony, São Paulo Symphony, and on tour with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He also performs his first solo cello recital programme in venues such as Wigmore Hall London, National Concert Hall Dublin, Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona, Auditorio Nacional de Música Madrid, Musée du Louvre Paris, and De Doelen Rotterdam and returns to the Dortmund Konzerthaus as one of their Junge Wilde artists.
Since his debut in 2017, Sheku has performed every summer at the BBC Proms, including in 2020 when he gave a breath-taking recital performance with his sister, Isata, to an empty auditorium due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He was selected to appear in the coveted role as guest soloist at the 2022 Last Night of the Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
A graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Hannah Roberts, Sheku was appointed in May 2022 as the Academy’s first Menuhin Visiting Professor of Performance Mentoring. He is an ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Future Talent, and Music Masters. Sheku was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List. He plays a Matteo Goffriller cello from 1700 which is on indefinite loan to him.
© September 2022.
Jonathan Bloxham was recently appointed Resident Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the London Mozart Players, effective from October 2022.
British conductor Jonathan Bloxham has swiftly made his mark as a conductor of “accomplished technique, innate musicianship, with a natural rapport with orchestras and a deep knowledge and understanding of the symphonic repertoire” (- Paavo Järvi).
Jonathan has a natural affinity with opera and made his Glyndebourne Festival debut in 2021, conducting 4 sold-out performances of Luisa Miller with the London Philharmonic. In Autumn 2021 he conducted Glyndebourne Touring Opera’s production of Don Pasquale, receiving 5 star reviews, having conducted two performances of Rigoletto for GTO in 2019. In September 2022, he joined the Luzern Symphony to conduct a production of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle at the Luzerner Theater in association with the Luzerne Festival.
Last season saw a string of debuts for Jonathan, including London Philharmonic, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Bonn Beethoven Orchester, Munich Symphony, Luzern Symphony and Aalborg Symphony. Along the way he established new relationships with leading soloists such as Steven Isserlis, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Daniel Mueller-Schott and Abel Selaocoe. He joined the Britten Sinfonia for the Barbican’s 40th birthday festivities, conducted the Salzburg Mozarteumorchester in Austria and on tour in Italy, and returned to the Hallé Orchestra.
Highlights of 22/23 include include his debuts with the Tokyo Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, invitations back to Salzburg, Munich, Residentie Orkest, and the start of his tenure with the London Mozart Players, including concerts at Fairfield Halls, Croydon (London).
He has recorded CDs with the London Symphony Orchestra (2022) and Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (2021, Strauss and Cesar Franck): “irresistible” – Musicweb International. For the past 14 years Jonathan has been Artistic Director of the Northern Chords Festival based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Passionate about unearthing little-known composers and championing new work, Jonathan has commissioned several premieres by young composers such as Vlad Maistorovici, Jack Sheen and Freya Waley Cohen.
Jonathan’s conducting career was launched when he took up the Assistant Conductor position at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2016-2018 under Mirga Grazynte-Tyla. He was then invited by Paavo Järvi to conduct the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, since when he has become a regular guest, going on to conduct across Europe with orchestras such as the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Basque National. Nearer to home he has returned to the CBSO, conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and National Symphony RTE.
Before taking up conducting he was a founder member and the cellist of the Busch Trio, performing regularly at the Wigmore Hall, across Europe and on BBC Radio 3, and still plays chamber music on occasion. Whilst studying at the Royal College of Music he won several prestigious awards including the Suggia Gift and the RCM Cello Prize; he made his concerto debut at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2012. He began his musical training at the age of 8 with a local cello teacher from the Gateshead Schools Music Service. He then studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School & Royal College of Music with Thomas Carroll before completing a Master’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Louise Hopkins, taking further conducting studies with Sian Edwards, Michael Seal, Nicolas Pasquet and Paavo Järvi.
Ruth Rogers studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky and Herman Krebbers. Described as “the finest of the younger generation of violinists” (Musical Opinion) and hailed by the Guardian as “superb”, Ruth is in demand as soloist, leader, and chamber musician. She was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal – the Royal College of Music’s highest accolade. She appears regularly at such prestigious venues as The Wigmore Hall with Aquinas Piano Trio and has made many recordings as part of that ensemble, including recent releases by Naxos which have been very well received by the critics.
Ruth was appointed as Leader of the London Mozart Players in 2015 and Leader of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra in 2022. She worked as Co-Leader of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra from 2008 until 2012 and appears as a guest leader of many other major orchestras including the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Ruth has played to orphans, landmine victims and malaria patients in refugee camps on the Thailand-Burma border.