The 17 year-old cellist wowed audiences with his virtuosity this summer in the grand finale of BBC Young Musician 2016. When he went on to win, he not only won one of the most prestigious titles in classical music but also entered the history books as the first black winner of the competition.
The documentary will seek to follow the Kanneh-Mason family in the aftermath of Sheku’s BBC Young Musician win. His parents, Stuart and Kadiatu, who come from a modest background with no professional music experience, raised seven gifted children, all of whom are passionate about classical music and perform to a virtuosic level.
The children also perform in the junior and professional Chineke! Orchestras, which aim to provide a platform to encourage and support talented black musicians. The programme shines a light on the Chineke Foundation, which was founded by Chi-chi Nwanoku, and follows the Chineke! Orchestra as they prepare for a special concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London.
The observational documentary will also explore issues of diversity and access in classical music, as well as looking at the human story and sacrifices that parents Stuart and Kadiatu made in order to support their children in pursuing their dreams. The seven children will also talk about their dedication to classical music and the programme will look more widely at the family dynamic and how they ended up becoming one of the most talented families in the UK.
Producer: Outline Productions
TX: November 2016
Source: BBC press release