Meghan picks a cellist for her wedding

Meghan picks a cellist for her wedding


norman lebrecht

April 24, 2018

Sheku Kanneh-Mason has been asked by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to play at their wedding.

Sheku, 19, won the BBc Musician of the Year title in 2016. Prince Harry saw him later at a charity concert.

He has tweeted:



UPDATE: And the conductor is…


  • Lawrence Kershaw says:

    That’s worth giving up your Los Angeles debut for…..?!

    • Robert Roy says:

      If it’s an invitation by Royal Command then I suspect refusing is not an option!

      • Lawrence Kershaw says:

        No, it’s not. This is not a ‘royal’ wedding; merely the marriage of someone 6th in line to the throne.
        Of course, if we wish to live in a society where serfdom still exists at the expense of contractual obligations elsewhere…

        • Allen says:

          He made a choice that you don’t approve of. That’s what you really don’t like, isn’t it?

          • Lawrence Kershaw says:

            Not at all. I just like professional musicians to honour their contractual obligations. And I will say the same about someone who cancelled an engagement at short notice to appear at Obama’s Inauguration. Or indeed Imelda May pulling out of a concert at a week’s notice to sing the national anthem at a boxing bout in the US!

        • Bill says:

          The official website of the royal family says it is a royal wedding. Maybe we might take that as an authoritative answer? I’m a US citizen with no dog in this fight.

          From a career standpoint, this seems like an easy call, especially with the LACO willing to reschedule his debut performance with them.

        • Bruce says:

          Lawrence Kershaw – my orchestra had a soloist cancel once because she had been invited to perform at Obama’s inauguration. Nobody minded.

        • Dominic Stafford says:

          You’ve confused a royal wedding with a State Occasion. It is a royal wedding. It is not a State Occasion.

          It seems a nice thing for him to be doing and the LACO are happy to release him.

        • Bill says:

          Lawrence Kershaw,

          the thing about contractual obligations is that they may be altered if all the parties agree to do so. The LACO has announced that his debut with them is being rescheduled.

          I’m imagining a sketch where you tell one of your artists that they’ve gotten a call to play the wedding, but you insist that they must play the previous booking instead. John Cleese would be superb in your role, I think.

      • Alex Davies says:

        I don’t think the royal family have to power to compel people to do things that they don’t want to do! They can’t have people thrown into the Tower of London or anything like that.

  • Rob says:

    So no poor people who live in council houses, smell of chip fat and eat stale bread will be invited then ?

    • Chris Clift says:

      Probably not Rob

    • Sue says:

      I guess you think it matters enough to have raised these questions. I don’t. Markel has been married before; how many white weddings does she want? Funny. Boring.

      I still remember the sight of a 40year old Nicole Kidman in a white wedding dress and veil marrying Keith Urban. She’d been married to Cruise for some time prior to that. The whole thing was entirely risible.

      • Alex Davies says:

        Nicole Kidman’s marriage to Tom Cruise was considered invalid by the Catholic Church as it took place in the Church of Scientology. Therefore at the time of her marriage to Keith Urban she was considered to be a single woman never previously married.

        • Sue says:

          LOL. She turned up with her children in tow, in that white dress with all the trappings!!

          • Bill says:

            Mystifies me why anyone but the people getting married should think their opinion on the color matters. You pick at your wedding and mind your own business at someone else’s. If you aren’t getting married that day, the day’s not about you.

    • Dominic Stafford says:

      They’ve invited 2,600 ordinary people to attend the event (which the Royal Family, not the Government, are paying for); but never mind, eh?

    • Adrienne says:

      No, but they weren’t invited to mine either. Or yours, I suspect.

  • L Robins says:

    I hope the people of Los Angeles will forgive their home grown royal bride-to-be for inviting Sheku to such a personal celebration, but where his artistry will be showcased to millions of music lovers. When he does debut in Los Angeles he will be even more well known and increase the public’s interest in seeing him live. That is my opinion.

    Wishing Sheku all the best in BOTH appearances.

    • Alex Davies says:

      Millions? St George’s Chapel has a capacity of only around 800.

      • Bill says:

        I hear there is a small possibility that there may be video coverage of the event, in which case people not actually in attendance might be able to enjoy (or criticize) the bride’s dress, the cellist’s fingerings, etc.

        • Alex Davies says:

          A small possibility? I don’t think I’d trade two concerts with the LACO for the small possibility of video coverage.

          • Bill says:

            Sarcasm detector on the fritz? Ought to have that checked.

            No trade involved here – LACO has rescheduled his performances. Gets to have cake and eat it, too.

          • Alex Davies says:

            Apologies, Bill. I had understood that as the wedding was taking place in St George’s Chapel it was more of a private event and would not be shown on television. But apparently it will be, which I suppose gives Mr Kanneh-Mason some good exposure, a bit like Kiri Te Kanawa singing Let the Bright Seraphim at the wedding of Harry’s parents (although I don’t know that Kiri needed the publicity at that stage in her career).

      • L Robins says:

        In US, Australia, and UK at least the wedding will be televised

  • V.Lind says:

    I have not heard this artist yet but it is heartening to note that he is in the top 20 on the POP charts. Suggests that there may be an audience out there for classical music if it does not look alien to the world the young consumers live in. Not sure how that helps formally dressed orchestras or artists older than this one, but it’s a start — surely SOME who buy his album and listen to it will try to hear more…or that’s always the theory.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Um…not sure how to say this. But the phrase “if it does not look alien to the world the young consumers live in” is a bit odd. Only 5 percent of the UK population is “ethnic minority”, if that is what you are referring to. I am not sure why Sheku Kanneh-Mason would be any more or any less alien than any other young musician.