Royal wedding cellist draws generations together at concert

Q: After taking our granddaughter to the Kanneh-Mason delightful symphony concert, and finding out other grandparents and aunts brought their young ones, too, I wondered about “actual facts” regarding the event: how it compared to other performances and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra?

A: British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason performed before a sold-out crowd recently with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and was actually booked before being chosen to perform at the Royal wedding, according to ASO Communications Manager Elizabeth Daniell.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra just finished its 74th season.

“We have had a number of great sold-out concerts and this one was no different from the others in that regard, but I do think that Sheku’s presence in the Royal wedding kind of brought a lot of attention to young people in classical music. So that was a very exciting thing about Sheku performing here,” said Daniell.

Uruguayan maestro Carlos Kalmar returned as the guest conductor.

Sheku plays an Antonius and Hieronymus Amati cello (1610) on loan from a private collection, according to ASO’s website.

The opening piece of the evening was “Overture di Ballo” by Arthur Sullivan. Followed by “Cello Concerto” by Elgar and finishing with “Symphony No. 2” by Schumann, according to ASO.

The encore was Erev Shel Shoshanim’s “Evening of Roses” by Yosef Hadar.

Kanneh-Mason signed CD’s after each performance. Daniell said he had quite the fan club and had never seen such long signings.

“One young child there for his birthday returned to the line to tell Sheku that he too played the cello. They shook hands. I heard him tell his mom that he was never going to wash his hand.

“Our opening weekend concerts (Sept. 20-23) with violinist Joshua Bell , as well as the Beethoven No. 9 performances with the ASO Chorus (April 11-14) were two more sold-out, three-concert weekends this season,” Daniell said.

For this season, there were 17 sold-out shows.

The orchestra and chorus have recorded more than 100 albums and its recordings have won 28 Grammy Awards, according to

The ASO performs over 150 concerts each year for a combined audience of more than half a million, according to

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the 19-year-old British cello virtuoso performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for three sold-out shows. (Contributed)