World-renowned cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason says he is concerned that new talent will be held back by limited touring opportunities due to Covid.
The 22-year-old, from Nottingham, received an MBE last month following a stellar rise that saw him record several hit albums.
He also performed at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018.
However, Kanneh-Mason says he believes younger emerging artists are suffering from the pandemic.
“It’s very difficult for them, because they haven’t had a chance to establish things internationally yet,” he said.
“Trying to establish things, especially now, is very difficult – extremely difficult – and I care a lot for young musicians and my peers.
“It’s great that concert halls are opening up, but I hope they will not only open to the best known and most accomplished artist, but continue to support younger and emerging artists.”
Mr. Kanneh-Mason joined his six siblings to stream live concerts during last year’s lockdowns, but said nothing about performing at a proper venue.
“These two years have been very, very difficult with very few concerts,” he added.
“It is always the smaller clubs and less established artists who suffer in this type of situation and need support.
“We remember the early years of performing. We performed in many smaller venues in the UK, and they were so important because it meant we could play a lot of repertoire and perform in front of the audience.
“It helped us so much and we had a lot of support. I think it’s so important for the future of art.”
Mr. Kanneh Mason, who received the MBE distinction from the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle, recently released an album with his older sister Isata, an award-winning pianist.
The recording, titled Muse, came about after the pandemic wrecked plans for a lengthy joint tour.
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