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Young, Gifted and Classical: The Making of a Maestro

Film following Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who became the first black winner of BBC Young Musician, as he tries to come to terms with his win and the pressures and opportunities it brings.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason made history in 2016 when he became the first black winner of the BBC Young Musician competition. Sheku has six musically gifted siblings and this film explores their extraordinary talents and issues of diversity in classical music.

We follow Sheku and his brothers and sisters and examine the sacrifices that parents Stuart and Kadie make in order to support their children in pursuing their musical dreams. Told through the prism of family life we get an understanding of what it is that drives this family to be the best musicians they can be.

At the heart of the story is 17-year-old Sheku, and we see him coming to terms with his Young Musician win and the pressures and opportunities it brings. His life is changing dramatically as he now has to learn to deal with the challenges of becoming a world-renowned cellist.

He gets advice from those who have trodden this path already, including international violinist Nicola Benedetti and renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, discovering what it takes to be a famous international solo musician.

The documentary culminates with Sheku's biggest performance to date, playing at the world-famous Royal Festival Hall in London, with Britain's first all-black and ethnic minority orchestra, Chineke!. As the preparations for this groundbreaking concert begin, the film explores what it means to be a young, black, classical musician in today's society.

59 minutes

Last on

Sat 12 Sep 2020 02:50


Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:01

    Maria Kliegel

    Cello Concerto No. 1 In E Flat Major, Op. 107: I. Allegretto

  • 00:28

    Bob Marley & The Wailers

    Buffalo Soldier


Role Contributor
Production Company Outline Productions Ltd
Director Eddie Hutton-Mills
Executive Producer Bridget Boseley
Producer Clare Bradbury
Narrator Sophie Okonedo
Participant Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Participant Isata Kanneh-Mason
Participant Kadie Kanneh-Mason
Participant Stuart Kanneh-Mason
Participant Braimah Kanneh-Mason
Participant Konya Kanneh-Mason
Participant Jeneba Kanneh-Mason
Participant Aminata Kanneh-Mason
Participant Mariatu Kanneh-Mason
Participant Julian Lloyd Webber
Participant Nicola Benedetti
Participant Chi-chi Nwanoku