Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason is in great demand internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. She offers eclectic and interesting repertoire with recital programmes encompassing music from Haydn and Mozart via Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann, Chopin and Brahms to Gershwin and beyond. In concerto, she is equally at home in Felix Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann (whose piano concerto featured on Isata’s chart-topping debut recording) as in Prokofiev and Dohnányi.
Highlights of the 23/24 season include performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on tour in the USA and Germany, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Stockholm Philharmonic, and Academy of St Martin in the Fields. With her cellist brother, Sheku, she appears in recital in Japan, Singapore, and South Korea in addition to an extensive European recital tour. Isata also gives a series of solo recitals on tour in the USA and Canada as well as at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Lucerne Festival, and across Germany.
In 2022/23 Isata made successful debuts at the Barbican, Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore halls in London, the Philharmonie Berlin, National Concert Hall Dublin, Perth Concert Hall and Prinzregententheater Munich. As concerto soloist, she appeared with orchestras such as the New World Symphony Miami, City of Birmingham Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Geneva Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic and was the Artist in Residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Isata is a Decca Classics recording artist. Her 2019 album, Romance – the Piano Music of Clara Schumann, entered the UK classical charts at No. 1, Gramophone magazine extolling the recording as “one of the most charming and engaging debuts”. This was followed by 2021’s Summertime, featuring 20th-century American repertoire including a world premiere recording of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Impromptu in B minor and 2023’s endearingly titled album Childhood Tales is a tour-de-force showcase of music inspired by a nostalgia for youth.
2021 also saw the release of Isata’s first duo album, Muse, with her brother Sheku Kanneh-Mason, demonstrating the siblings’ musical empathy and rapport borne from years of playing and performing together. Isata and Sheku were selected to perform in recital during the 2020 BBC Proms, which was a vastly reduced festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic and they performed for cameras to an empty auditorium. 2023 sees her BBC Proms solo debut, this time to a fully open Royal Albert Hall, alongside Ryan Bancroft and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Isata was an ECHO Rising Star in 21/22 performing in many of Europe’s finest halls and she is also the recipient of the coveted Leonard Bernstein Award, an Opus Klassik award for best young artist and is one of the Konzerthaus Dortmund’s Junge Wilde artists.
“…But on Wednesday that pianist was Isata Kanneh-Mason. She played beautifully: her touch patrician in a Beethoven sonata; dreamy in one by Shostakovich; suave in one by Frank Bridge; and alert without being anxious in one by Britten. Calmly commanding throughout, she was also unfailingly subtle.”
“Isata Kanneh-Mason, on the other hand, sparkled and danced through her challenging portions of the program with great subtlety and restraint, only to emerge for the occasional fiery instance of brilliance.”