New Classical Tracks

Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason explores American music

British pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, 25, presents her vibrant second album 'Summertime.'Robin Clewley


New Classical Tracks - Isata Kanneh-Mason (Extended)

17:10


August 18, 2021
New Classical Tracks - Isata Kanneh-Mason

Isata Kanneh-Mason — Summertime (Decca)

Isata Kanneh-Mason is the oldest of seven incredibly talented musical siblings. They’ve all studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and Kanneh-Mason received an Elton John Scholarship.

“I've never really been to a pop concert and to be on stage in that setting is so different from what I'm used to. It really brought me into a different world,” said Kanneh-Mason when she not only met Elton John, she got to perform with him.

While she enjoys pop music, her comfort zone is in the world of classical music. She recently released her second solo piano recording exploring American music , Summertime.

How does your album illustrate the diversity of American music in the 20th century?

I went from Samuel Barber to Amy Beach, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor to George Gershwin and wanted to represent as many corners as I possibly could. To be American is like being British in the sense that it's not a race. It's loads of different races that have culturally been living together. Either they've moved there, or they've grown up there. There is diversity within the title of being American. That's what I wanted to show on the album.”

To hear the rest of my conversation, click on the extended interview above, or download the extended podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Resources

Isata Kanneh-Mason — Summertime (House of Music)

Isata Kanneh-Mason — Summertime (Amazon)

Isata Kanneh-Mason (official site)