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LOTTO-Förderpreis of the Rheingau Musik Festival

15,000 Euros for Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sheku Kanneh-Mason © Lars Borges
Sheku Kanneh-Mason © Lars Borges

The cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason will be awarded the LOTTO Sponsorship Prize of the Rheingau Music Festival in 2020. With prize money of 15,000 euros, the prize donated by LOTTO Hessen GmbH is one of the highest endowed prizes for young artists in Germany and will be awarded for the 12th time this year.

His likeable manner and his presence in the media have already helped cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who is just 21 years old, to a steep career in the world of classical music. He constantly breaks with conventions and traditions, thus putting the classical music business in a completely new light.

"With the LOTTO sponsorship award we want to make it easier for young talents to reach the top." Dr. Heinz-Georg Sundermann, Managing Director LOTTO Hessen GmbH

Born in Nottingham, Kanneh-Mason grew up in an extraordinarily musical household. At the age of nine the young cellist entered the Royal College of Music and received an intensive education, which soon paid off by winning prestigious prizes. His performance at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018 finally made him famous all over the world. The fact that he will now receive the LOTTO Sponsorship Prize fills the modest musician with particular joy: "Thank you very much for awarding me the LOTTO Sponsorship Prize of the Rheingau Music Festival this year. It means a lot to me to receive such wonderful support and I am very much looking forward to performing at this year's festival in July".

The jury for the LOTTO Sponsorship Award is composed of the conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach, currently General Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. and from the 2019/20 season on Chief Conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Director and General Manager of the Rheingau Musik Festival, Michael Herrmann, Dr. Heinz-Georg Sundermann of LOTTO Hessen, and the program staff of the Rheingau Musik Festival.

When and in what setting the prize will be awarded this year has not yet been decided.

Jury's assessment

With his honest, earthy tone and warm vibrato, he embraces almost every musical phrase and plays himself into the hearts of the audience. In doing so, the young cellist emphasizes from the very beginning of his career what is important to him: (family) cohesion, sustainability and solidarity. It is not the numerous, unique and media-effective television appearances, but rather the sincerity and compassionate nature associated with them that make this extraordinary artist a role model and source of hope for an entire generation.

Auszug aus der Jurybegründung

The previous laureates

Sebastian Manz (2009)
Leticia Moreno (2010)
Denis Kozhukhin (2011)
Christopher Park (2012)
Iskandar Widjaja (2013)
Vestard Shimkus (2014)
Pablo Ferrandéz (2015)
Marc Bouchkov (2016)
Ben Kim (2017)
Emmanuel Tjeknavorian (2018)
Stathis Karapanos (2019)