BBC Music Magazine speaks to pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason about the music (and literature) that’s shaped who she is today.


Isata graced our screens back in 2014, when she reached the Piano Category Finals of BBC Young Musician, a competition her brother Sheku then went on to win two years later. The pair come from one of the best known musical families in the UK, with all eight siblings either professional or highly gifted instrumentalists.

Despite still being only 23 years old, last year Isata released her debut disc for Decca Classics: Romance, a selection of piano works by Clara Schumann. In her review of the recording, our managing editor Rebecca Franks called her ‘a pianist who makes lines sing beautifully and virtuosic passages dance, finding intimacy and eloquence at telling moments.’

Isata met Rebecca at the Royal Academy of Music – where she is studying for a postgraduate degree – earlier this year before the UK lockdown.

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Listen to Isata's musical choices here: