A PORTRAIT OF THE LIFE OF CLARA SCHUMANN
05 JULY 2019 (TORONTO, ON) - Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason hit the national headlines in April 2019 following the news of her signing to Decca Classics, joining younger brother Sheku on the label in Decca’s 90th birthday year. With the release of her stunning debut album Romance, out today via Decca Classics/Universal Music Canada, Isata takes us on a journey through the composer Clara Schumann’s extraordinary life. She joins forces with an all-female line-up to champion the significance of women musicians throughout the years, and their influence on the classical musical canon. The recording features Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, written at the age of fourteen, and performed by the composer at Leipzig Gewandhaus two years later under the baton of Felix Mendelssohn.
On the release, Isata said: “It is a real honour to release the music of Clara Schumann in her 200th anniversary year. I’d like to thank my brilliant family and friends for their support and the team at Decca for helping make this special project a reality.”
Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto was recorded with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Holly Mathieson. The Three Romances for Violin & Piano were recorded with violinist and BBC New Generation Artist Elena Urioste. The recording also features music from various phases of Clara’s life, from the youthful Piano Concerto to the mature magnificence of her Piano Sonata, the achingly beautiful Violin Romances and rarely-recorded transcriptions of songs by Robert Schumann.
On 13th September, Isata will perform at the gala reopening of the Schumann-Haus in Leipzig to mark the 200th anniversary of Clara Schumann’s birth. She will perform pieces by the composer in front of special guests, who will get a first look at the newly-renovated house where Clara and Robert spent the first four years of their marriage. Isata will perform on the historic piano that Clara once played – built in 1866 by her cousin, Wilhelm Wieck. The performance is part of the official CLARA19 festivities taking place throughout the year in Leipzig, Clara’s birth town.
Performance highlights this summer include a chamber recital at the Cheltenham Music Festival (6th July) and concerts alongside Sheku at Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh (7th August) and Snape Maltings (8th August), performing pieces by Beethoven, Lutoslawski, Debussy, Fauré and Mendelssohn. Isata will make her BBC Proms television presenting debut on 22nd August, introducing Prom 46 which features the CBSO, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and Sheku.
Isata is currently completing her postgraduate studies with Carole Presland at the Royal Academy of Music and is signed to Enticott Music Management for worldwide general management, joining an esteemed roster of international artists. She competed in the final of the piano category at the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition, and performed with Sir Elton John in Los Angeles in 2013, having completed her undergraduate studies as an Elton John scholar at the Academy. Together with her brothers Sheku and Braimah, she performs internationally as the Kanneh-Mason Trio, and enjoys a successful and increasingly busy concert career as a solo artist, with concerto appearances, recitals and chamber concerts throughout the UK and abroad.
1-3. Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 7
4-7. Romances, Op. 11
8-12. Romances, Op. 22
13-16. Piano Sonata in G Minor
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