AWARD-WINNING CELLIST Sheku Kanneh-Mason is on track to become the first cellist in the history of the charts to earn a place in the UK Official Charts Top 10.
The chart position would also make Kanneh-Mason the first British classical instrumentalist in over 30 years to reach the Top 10 after violinist Nigel Kennedy released Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in 1989.
According to the Official Chart Company (OCC) Midweeks report, Kanneh-Mason’s album Elgar, released on Decca Classics, is a new entry at No.6 of the combined album chart, ahead of new releases from Big Moon and Georgia, and No.4 in the digital download chart behind Stormzy’s Heavy is the Head.
Fans who want their purchase of Kanneh-Mason’s second album, Elgar, to count towards first week sales – and what could be a historic moment – will need to buy the album by Thursday.
The news of the potentially historic success follows a busy week for Kanneh-Mason. Last Thursday his album was launched at London’s Soho Hotel with a Dolby Atmos screening of his recording session at Abbey Road. On Friday, he returned to his home town of Nottingham for a very special launch event attended by his family, former teachers, supporters and fans eager to meet “the world’s new favourite cellist” at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall.
Kanneh-Mason, the first black musician to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, shot to international fame after his performance at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May 2018, which was watched by nearly 2 billion people worldwide.
His debut album, Inspiration, charted at No.18 in January 2018, and re-entered the Top 20 at No.11.
Rebecca Allen, president of Decca Records, shared her delight at the news. “What an incredible way to begin the new decade! Sheku’s unrivalled success as a young artist shows how classical music can reach people all over the world. He is a credit to his family and teachers, and I’m thrilled that Decca is fortunate to represent him.”