The UK’s most extraordinary musical family, the Kanneh-Masons, are joining Classic FM to host their own radio series.
Launching on Sunday 26 February at 9pm, The Kanneh-Mason Family Takeover sees all nine members of the hugely talented family make their debut radio series together.
Across six weeks, the family – mum Kadiatu, dad Stuart, Isata, Braimah, Sheku, Konya, Jeneba, Aminata and Mariatu – will share their favourite classical music and the pieces which have inspired them throughout their lives, both as a family and individually, and reveal their best-loved performances.
They will talk about everyday life as a nine-strong family and share personal stories as they figuratively throw open the doors of their home to welcome in Classic FM listeners.
The first episode will be hosted by pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, who reveals the music that has made the biggest impact on her.
This includes the second movement of the ‘Trout’ Quintet by Schubert, one of the most played pieces from her childhood; Little Women from the soundtrack of the same name by the film composer Alexandre Desplat; and the second movement of the Cello Sonata in G Minor by her favourite composer, Rachmaninov.
Star cellist Sheku, whose performance at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018 brought him widespread fame, will front two episodes in the series. On 5 March, he will feature a selection of the music that has inspired him throughout his life and career.
Then on 19 March, the 23-year-old will team up with his mum Kadiatu for a Mother’s Day special. The pair will share personal stories from his childhood and discuss their favourite music. One piece loved by the whole family is Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, which was played on long car journeys.
Sheku and Kadiatu will reminisce as well about the intensive rehearsals in the summer of 2020, before their debut family album, a recording of Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns. They will also feature ‘Sea Murmurs’ by Castelnuovo-Tedesco from the album, featuring Braimah and Jeneba, to celebrate when the family recorded Carnival at Abbey Road Studios.
Violinists Braimah and Aminata will host the third programme in the series (12 March), while sisters Konya and Jeneba – both pianists – will present the fifth episode (26 March), with their musical choices including Fantaisie-Impromptu by Chopin, in honour of their grandfather.
The final programme (2 April), to be hosted by dad Stuart and youngest daughter Mariatu, will feature Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.20 in D Minor, another family favourite, along with the first movement of Elgar’s Cello Concerto – the piece that inspired Mariatu to play the cello after hearing her brother Sheku perform it.
The full series will also be available on Global Player for an extended period.
Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason said: “We are so excited to have been asked to present our own shows on Classic FM. It’s a real thrill for the whole family as it’s a radio station we have loved and been listening to since the children were very small. We have enjoyed pulling together all our musical memories to share with your listeners, music that we share together and that reveals important moments in our family life.
“The children’s developments seem punctuated by musical milestones, by favourite pieces that make us feel so much emotion when we hear them. Music that we have listened to over and over again as the family grew, and grew up. Above all, this musical journey forms so much of how we relate to one another.”
Philip Noyce, Classic FM’s Managing Editor, said: “We are beyond excited to welcome the world-renowned Kanneh-Mason family to Classic FM and thrilled that it’s also a radio first.
“The family shares our passion to make classical music accessible to all, and their exclusive six-part series will give us a unique insight into everyday life for one of the most successful musical families of our time. It’s great that everyone will present across the six weeks, as we discover more about this prodigious family by hearing the pieces that mean the most to them and which we hope will inspire others too.”