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Kanneh-Masons (cellist family)

(37 Posts)
Riversidegirl Fri 25-Sep-20 11:44:10

Is anyone reading the book "House of Music"? I think the family are lovely, and they live not far from me. But I'm concerned that all the things that happened to Kadie (the Mum) might be giving an exaggerated impression. I've no reason to believe they are not true, but......

Luckygirl Fri 25-Sep-20 11:50:44

What did happen to Kadie?

FannyCornforth Fri 25-Sep-20 12:39:35

Yes, come on, you've piqued our interest!

merlotgran Fri 25-Sep-20 12:45:57

This is what Amazon says about it.

Seven brothers and sisters. All of them classically trained musicians. One was Young Musician of the Year and performed for the royal family. The eldest has released her first album, showcasing the works of Clara Schumann. These siblings don’t come from the rarefied environment of elite music schools, but from a state comprehensive in Nottingham. How did they do it?

Their mother, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, opens up about what it takes to raise a musical family in a Britain divided by class and race. What comes out is a beautiful and heartrending memoir of the power of determination, camaraderie and a lot of hard work. The Kanneh-Masons are a remarkable family. But what truly sparkles in this eloquent memoir is the joyous affirmation that children are a gift and we must do all we can to nurture them.

suziewoozie Sat 26-Sep-20 07:45:38

Why are you ‘concerned’ River?

Riversidegirl Sun 27-Sep-20 16:05:05

There are so many things happen, one after the other, to Mum. Illnesses, accidents, strange sort of hallucinatory things, racism (which we may have expected years ago) . You would have to read the book to see what I mean. Like I say, I don't disbelieve it, but I don't like to think that the story has been taken over and over-embellished for dramatic effect. After a while, it did begin to spoil the story. Just my opinion.

loopyloo Sun 27-Sep-20 16:41:12

I thought the children went to the Royal Academy of Music?

Callistemon Sun 27-Sep-20 17:21:49

Yes, they did or still do, loopyloo, some having won scholarships.

Mother was a university lecturer.

watermeadow Sun 27-Sep-20 17:41:22

The cost of seven children’s music lessons, instruments, transport etc must be astronomic.Their mum must feel the family has to appear in films and books (sometimes obtrusive) to help pay the bills.

midgey Sun 27-Sep-20 17:59:21

I think racism is alive and kicking in this country still!

Grandma70s Sun 27-Sep-20 18:09:37

I’m not arguing about their talent and dedication, but I worry that they are over-promoted because they are a little unusual. There are plenty of equally talented children from more expected backgrounds who do not get their opportunities.

suziewoozie Sun 27-Sep-20 18:14:16

Wow wow wow - what a nasty thread. I do wonder why ?

Mamie Sun 27-Sep-20 18:17:02

I don't think there are "plenty of other children" as talented as they are. I haven't read the book, but I watched the prom concert with Sheku and Isata. Quite extraordinary.

Grandma70s Sun 27-Sep-20 18:24:03

It doesn’t strike me as particularly nasty. Perhaps I’m missing something.

The Royal Academy of Music doesn’t do full-time academic education as the Royal Ballet School does. It’s music lessons only. I have an idea the Kanneh-Masons went on Saturdays, not easy from Nottingham. My sister-in-law went there (piano and oboe), but she lived in London so it was easier for her.

FannyCornforth Sun 27-Sep-20 18:24:47

Oh okay. No racism now.

Grandma70s Sun 27-Sep-20 18:26:50

Perhaps ‘plenty of other children’ was a bit of an exaggeration, but there are certainly some. Some of the other finalists in the BBC Young Musician were examples.

harrigran Sun 27-Sep-20 18:57:41

My DD started playing the piano on her sixth birthday and was an exceptional pianist but there was no way that we could get her extra lessons at the Royal academy.
Goodness all those children travelling from Nottingham to London on a weekend for lessons, must have been crippling financially unless they had sponsors.

varian Sun 27-Sep-20 19:45:05

The Kanneh-Masons are quite an extraordinary family. When the oldest six appeared on BGT Simon Cowell said "you are probably the most talented family in the world" and he was probably right.

Neither of the parents were musicians but both were successful professional people. Stuart working in hotel management and Kadiatu, who has a PhD, as a university lecturer.

When Isata, their oldest child came first in England in grade 8 piano, they realised that she "must be quite good". One by one all the children were encouraged to learn one or more musical instrument. Sheku won "Young Musician of the Year" and is now a leading cellist. His brother Braimah is a violinist.

The children attended state schools in Nottingham so they did not have the benefit of small class teaching in a private school.

What is so lovely is the shared enjoyment of classical music. Listen to them play together.

M0nica Sun 27-Sep-20 21:47:02

In any family with an over riding interest shared by parents and children alike, those children will do better in that interest than if they come from a family where the rest of the family do not share that interest.

Look at all those young footballers, skaters, gymnasts, swimmers, divers, tennis players etc who do so well because their parents devote their lives to encouraging their children, Judy Murray, Tom Daly's Dad, Lewis Hamilton's father.Do you hear the same complaints about these children and their parents that you get when someone has a child who is a gifted musician or mathematician or artist of any kind. Of course you don't, or very rarely.

This thread covers almost every 'ism' there is sexism, racism, inverted snobbery, resentment of children with intellectual gifts. Kanu Shaku-Mason won Young Musician of the year, not just for technical brilliance, but interpretation as well. I look forward to hearing more of all the family and listening to the music that this gifted family will give to the world.

Callistemon Sun 27-Sep-20 22:48:25

It's unusual for all children in a large family to be so gifted.
Even hard work doesn't mean that they would all succeed at one thing eg music, sport, art, dance etc .

Even having dedicated parents doesn't always mean they will be brilliant. They must all have an inherited gene.

Luckygirl Sun 27-Sep-20 23:18:02

This thread covers almost every 'ism' there is sexism, racism, inverted snobbery, resentment of children with intellectual gifts.

Am I missing something here? I thought the thread was celebrating these highly talented young people.

It is intriguing that a whole group of siblings should have such outstanding talent in the same sphere. I remember hearing an interview with their mother who said that she encouraged them all to try and stick with their instruments until Grade 8, so they would have "the basics"! In my view Grade 8 is a bit more than the basics!

What stands out among these siblings is not just their talent (and their youth of course) but their true musicianship - Sheku won YMOTY not just because of his technical skill but because of his ability to interpret and communicate the music. I am hoping that he does not become too much of a phenomenon that he is pulled down routes that might not be right for him, just so that record producers and publishers can get their share of him.

The presence of these young people lifts the heart. In fact the whole YMOTY lifts my heart every two years. In the main the performers on the programme seem to love their music making and do not seem hot-housed against their will. It gives me hope for the future.

I am getting desperate to go to a live orchestral concert again - I wonder when this will happen.......

suziewoozie Sun 27-Sep-20 23:21:55

You are missing something Lucky . Read the OP again. Read some of the other posts. Dog whistles.

Luckygirl Sun 27-Sep-20 23:27:57

Th OP is talking about the book, which I have not read.

My interest is in their extraordinary talent. What else matters?

Dog whistles?

merlotgran Sun 27-Sep-20 23:30:04

I agree with you Lucky. It's a shame when all these 'isms' are eagerly sought out by some who cannot wait to pounce.

I don't see any harm in having an an opinion which actually might be ill informed but is harmless in its intention.

I hope you are able to resume your musical life soon. You had to step back during your OH's illness and then came Covid...

Chin up! All things must pass.

Elrel Mon 28-Sep-20 02:01:03

I love their music and enjoyed a tv programme which included them all, plus instruments, going off to the mountains for a family holiday. The children’s interactions With each other, and with their parents, appeared refreshingly normal.
I could listen to Sheku’s cello in rapture for hours.