Today marks 12 months since we closed our doors to live audiences, and although it’s hard to believe we’re one year on, a lot has happened since our last in-person concert with Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Guy Johnston. Our team have been working hard to keep the music alive (I’m not sure we could have got through lockdown without it!). This includes setting up our successful live stream programme, providing online access to culture for audiences of all ages, reducing physical barriers to live music and providing a safe space for music professionals to record and rehearse. I’m sure we can all agree, it’s been *quite* the year!
Right now, we’re busy getting ready for the day we can reopen and welcome you back into our beautiful concert hall. But while we wait, our live stream concerts continue! Seamlessly marking the anniversary of their brother Sheku’s closing concert, Braimah & Konya Kanneh-Mason will take to our stage on Wednesday 24 March.
The siblings are from one of the most gifted family of musicians. Konya has already played to royalty twice and both have appeared on numerous television and radio programmes, most recently on BBC Radio 3 and in the BBC1 Imagine documentary, This House is Full of Music, created via Zoom during lockdown.
To say we’re looking forward to their Stoller Hall performance would be an understatement…. so we caught up with Braimah & Konya ahead of their live stream concert!
What first got you into music?
Braimah: I always grew up listening to music around the house and in car journeys. I first started playing music because I saw my elder sister Isata playing the piano. This made me, like any younger sibling, want to do what Isata was doing. Therefore, as soon as she started on the violin a year later, I followed.
Konya: Being the middle child in a very musical family, by the time I came along, music felt an instinctive choice. I was inspired by my eldest sister, Isata, who plays the piano, and I decided I wanted to play it too.
How have you been passing time during lockdown?
Braimah: (Trying) to learn German, running, and cooking.
Konya: Reading, running, and spending lots of time with my family.
What are you listening to right now?
Braimah: Slowly working through the Ébène Quartet complete recordings of Beethoven’s string quartets.
Konya: Mozart Piano concerto no.23 K.488 – Mitsuko Uchida.
Who would you most like to collaborate or work with?
Braimah: The list would be way too long and the brilliant thing about the modern age is that we have access to listen to many inspiring artists through various platforms.
Konya: Having been in lockdown for so long, collaborating with musicians is what I’m looking forward to most! I would say I’m most looking forward to performing alongside RAM students again and with friends.
Least favourite musical instrument?
Braimah: Piganino- look it up!
Konya: I can’t answer that… I would be upsetting a few friends if I did.
Hopes and dreams for 2021?
Braimah: Go to as many theatres and concert halls as is possible. Finally make the most of live performances.
Konya: My hopes and dreams for 2021 are being able to play with other musicians again, and to get back on stage in front of live audiences.