Twenty-one-year-old British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason first won attention aged 17 as the first black musician to win the prestigious BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.
Now, thanks to the so-called “Sheku effect”, a new generation of young cellists is emerging, with Britain’s National Schools Symphony Orchestra reporting a 68 per cent increase in applications from young cellists.
Kanneh-Mason is using his celebrity to lobby for more music education in British schools. “It needs to be taught more, and better,” he says. He regularly visits schools to perform with young musicians. “I work with many children who wouldn’t have had access,” he says. “There’s so much talent among young people that needs to be combined with opportunity.”
[Source: I Newspaper/BBC News/The Guardian/The Big Issue]
Also see: The Mozart effect